African Bank FAQ

FAQs

Affordability
How will I know if I can afford the repayments on an African Bank Loan?

The first step in the application process is to provide us with the information we need so that we can calculate your income and expenses. This includes documents such as your pay slip, a bank statement and proof of residence. We will then check your accounts on the credit bureau and the National Loans Register to calculate how much you can afford.

It is important that you give us only correct and up-to-date information. It is also your responsibility to let us know if you cannot afford the repayments before taking a Loan or Credit Card.

Administration
Will I get regular statements?

You can contact us anytime to get a statement, however we will send your statements to you.You will receive as long as your contact information stays the same.

If you believe there is a mistake on your statement please call us on 0861 111 011 so we can look into it.

What if I don’t speak English well. Can I get documents in my language?

Yes, absolutely. Please call us and let us know what language you would prefer and we will make sure you get all documents in your preferred language.

Where will you deliver documents about my Loans, Policies etc.?

Your documents will be sent free of charge to the address you provided in your agreement with us. Unfortunately we don’t cover the cost of delivery to other addresses.

What if I have questions or complaints?

You are most welcome to visit us at your nearest branch or call us on 0861 111 011 if you have questions or complaints and we will gladly assist.

Is my information shared with the credit bureau?

Yes it is. The National Credit Act says that all banks have to report personal information and any credit agreement entered into, cancelled or settled, to a registered credit bureau or the National Credit Regulator.

What happens if I haven’t paid the amounts I owe and am in arrears?

If this happens you need to contact us immediately and we will do our best to try and find a solution for you. Unfortunately if you don’t contact us, or we can’t help you find a solution. We need to give you at least 20 business days’ notice before submitting your information to the credit bureau.

Notice can only be given once, unless you request us to provide you with a copy of the same adverse information intended for the bureau.

Can I see my credit report?

Yes you can. You are welcome to contact any credit bureau and they will give you your credit report. This can be done once a year free of charge.

If you are not satisfied with any details on your report, you can request that an investigation is done.

African Bank Loans
How and when do I get my Loan?

The first step is to apply for a Loan. You have the choice of applying online, over the phone or by visiting your nearest branch.

Once you have applied for a Loan, your information will be reviewed and if the Loan is awarded to you, the Loan amount will be paid directly into your bank account.

How and when do I make Loan repayments?

Your repayment dates are set out on the front page of your agreement.

Your first repayment is due seven days after your Loan is deposited in your bank account. All other instalments are due on the first day of the month.

Repayments can be made by setting up a payroll deduction or a debit or stop order from your bank account.

Or, we can arrange to deduct the money from your bank account monthly on the day you are paid.

See easy ways to pay

What happens if I want to extend the terms of my Loan?

All the information in your letter of agreement will apply to your Loan from the date on which it is extended.

If the extension reduces your monthly repayments, you will still pay interest, fees, insurance premiums and charges for a longer period of time.

African Bank Credit Cards
What happens if my Credit Card application is successful?

We will help you open a Credit Card account and give you a Card. Once your Credit Card is activated, all transactions will be recorded on this account.

How and when do I make Credit Card repayments?

Your first repayment is due seven days after your Credit Card is activated. All other instalments are due on the first day of the month.

See easy ways to pay

How do I activate my African Bank Credit Card?

You can activate your Credit Card at any branch countrywide.

Or you can call our Credit Card activation service on 0861 000 444 and follow the voice prompts to create your secret 4-digit pin code.

You will need your South African Identity Document and your Credit Card to confirm certain details in branch or over the phone.

You will be notified via SMS when you can start using your Credit Card, which will be activated within 48 hours.

Who can use my Credit Card?

You need to sign your Credit Card as soon as you receive it. Only you are permitted to use it.

You can’t use it for any transactions that need an embossed Credit Card (e.g. toll roads, parking machines, or telephone or internet transactions), unless expressly authorised by us.

Once a payment has been made, it can’t be stopped unless you request a charge-back.

When can I need to get a new Credit Card?

Your Credit Card is valid for the period specified on the face of your Card. Once that period expires, African Bank will re-issue you a new Credit Card at your nearest branch.

Am I liable for my Credit Card?

As the cardholder, you are responsible for the safekeeping of your pin and Credit Card. You are responsible for any transaction made with your Credit Card, even without your permission. Please l keep your pin secret and separate from your card.

When can I use my Credit Card?

You can use your Credit Card once it has been activated. It will be accepted at all till points and ATMs with the Visa logo.

The maximum amount you can withdraw is R2 000 per day.

Different banks may assign different withdrawal limits for specific ATMs.

If you have any problems using your Credit Card, please call us on 0861 000 555.

Can I change my credit limit?
Yes, you can apply to increase your Credit Card limit, or reduce your limit to a level you are more comfortable with.
How do I get automatic Credit Card limit increases?

If you have chosen to have your Credit Card limit automatically increased, your limit increase will happen once a year on the anniversary your card was issued. your limit was last altered.

What are set-aside or put-on-hold amounts?

If we set aside or put a hold on any amount, the balance in your account will be reduced by the amount set aside. (When does this happen?)

The amount is only an estimate and may not be equal to the actual transaction it covers.

Where applicable, we may set aside or hold such amounts for a period as decided by the relevant Card Association, after which, we need to debit you for the full transaction amount.

Payments
How and when do I make repayments?

Your repayment dates are set out on the front page of your agreement.

Your first repayment is due seven days after your Credit Card is activated, or your Loan is deposited in your bank account.

All other instalments are due on the first day of the month.

See easy ways to pay

Can I pay off my Loan or Credit Card early?

Yes. You can call us for a settlement amount if you want to settle your outstanding balance. Or you can increase your repayment amounts to pay off your Loan or Credit Card quicker. Feel free to call us on and to discuss your options.

Can I make a payment arrangement?

Yes. If you are unable to make your monthly repayment, please call us on 011 207 4500 to make a payment arrangement.

What if I fall into arrears?

Failing to make your repayments can result in default administration fees, and lead to your Credit Card being suspended, or your Loan or credit facility being cancelled, or having legal action taken against you.

What happens if I haven’t paid my amounts owing and am in arrears?

If this happens you need to contact us immediately and we will do our best to try and find a solution for you. Unfortunately if you don’t contact us, or we can’t help you find a solution, we need to give you at least 20 business days’ notice before submitting your information to the credit bureau.

What can I do if I find myself over-indebted?

If you fall behind with payments or that you have way too much debt to cope with, please call us on 011 207 4500.

Unfortunately if you don’t contact us immediately, we will notify you of your default and advise that you refer your issue to a debt counsellor, consumer court or alternative dispute resolution.

For more information on debt consolidation, debt counselling or debt management, contact the National Credit Regulator on 0860 100 406.

What is debt counselling or debt review ?

If you’re battling to meet your financial commitments, you may consider debt review, also called debt counselling.

The debt review process was introduced in 2007 with the National Credit Act (NCA). The benefit is that, while you’re getting debt counselling and in the process of paying off your debts, legal action can’t be taken against you.

You can only take advantage of this process if you have a regular income to develop a reasonable repayment plan.

How debt counselling or debt review works

1. Find a debt counsellor. You can search for members at www.ncr.org.za, the website of the National Credit Regulator.

2. Give your payslip, your ID document and all your monthly repayments to the debt counsellor you have selected. You’ll also need to provide a monthly budget of other expenses, such as food and petrol. Remember that only your basic expenses will be included in the budget.

3. The debt counsellor will work out if you are over-indebted (if your payments are simply unaffordable on your current income), work out how much you need to live on and what is left over to repay your debts.

4. At this point, you’ll be able to officially apply for debt counselling, and the debt counsellor will tell you what the costs are:

•Application fee of R50

•Administration fee of R300 following consultation

•Professional restructuring fee (maximum of R8 000; if you’re married in community of property, maximum of R9 000)

•Monthly aftercare fee (5% of repayment amount for 24 months, or a maximum of R450 (e.g. total debt payment is R4 000, then fee is 4000 x 5% = R200)

•Legal fee (Dependent on attorney and court i.e. either tribunal or magistrate’s court (Fees have to be disclosed upfront and can range between R2 000 and R6 000, excluding Vat)

The debt counsellor must take time to explain the fees and process to you in detail. Ask as many questions as you need to.

5.The debt counsellor will complete a form 17.1 and send it to all the credit providers. The credit providers then have five days to issue a Certificate of Balance to the debt counsellor.

6.The debt counsellor takes the money available for credit repayments as per the revised budget, and works out a new repayment plan which is sent to credit providers as a proposal.

7.Each credit provider reviews the proposal and either accepts it or make counter proposals, depending on various rules.

8.Should one or more of the credit providers not like the terms, the debt counsellor will have to approach a magistrate with the proposed debt repayments to get a decision. As long as the repayment plan is reasonable, it should be approved by the court.

9.Once all the credit providers agree with the repayment proposals offered by the debt counsellor, a legal ‘consent order’ will be obtained. (In many cases this could mean a reduction in fees and interest payable by consumer.)

10.Once this is finalized the account is rescheduled by the credit providers with the new instalment and interest rate.

11.The debt counsellor will advise the credit bureaus and tell them to list you as being under debt counselling.

This is not a blacklisting – debt review is a protection. It will be removed completely once you’ve paid everything off. You cannot apply for any further loans/credit while under debt review.

12.Once agreement has been reached, the debt counsellor will give you your final repayment plan and also submit it to a Payment Distribution Agency (PDA).

13.This PDA agency will take a lump sum from you each month via debit order and split it up between the credit providers, according to the repayment plan.

14.Your obligation is to keep up the monthly payments until such time as the whole amount has been paid off.

15.The amount available for debt repayments will remain the same each month. As some of the smaller accounts are settled, the amount paid to other credit providers will increase. (E.g. R4000 is split between Woolworths for R500 and African Bank for R3 500; once Woolworths balance is paid up, the full R4000 will be paid to African Bank.)

16.Once all your debt is settled, the debt counsellor issues a clearance certificate and notifies the credit bureaus.

17.The accepted maximum time for debt review is seven years (84 months) but a home loan can’t be repaid in this time. Once all the other debt is settled, the home loan will revert back to the contractual agreement.

18.During the period under debt review, consumers are declared over-indebted and will not be able to get new credit for the period of debt review.

Tips for dealing with debt

•Know what you owe (list everything from small amounts to large amounts)

•Reduce your monthly household spending

•Limit your borrowing – only borrow when you need to not when you want to

•Pay a little more – if you pay extra you reduce the term of the debt

•Get help sooner rather than later

•Commit to a debt repayment plan – stick to your budget

Duties of a debt counsellor

•National Credit Regulator (NCR) registration certificate should be displayed

•Must have an office to visit (not only a call centre)

•No payment request is permitted up front

•Takes time to go through your budget

•Explains the process in detail, and gives you material to help remind you of the process

•Balances your needs with the credit provider needs

•Payments must be made to a Payment Distribution Agency, and not directly to the debt counsellor

•Debt counsellors are not allowed to advise you that you can skip payments - try not to skip any payments

•This process is controlled by the courts

Debt review tips

•Talk to your debt counsellor regularly

•Stick to your budget and track your monthly spending

•Save towards annual expenses and unplanned expenses

•Keep records of everything

•Never miss a debt review payment