National Credit Act, Change Summary 2015

Automatic Removal Of Adverse Consumer Credit Information 

All adverse information recorded on a credit bureau must be removed once the debt has been settled.

Retention Periods For Displaying Information On The Credit Bureaus  

CategoryDescriptionMaximum PeriodChange
Details and results of complaintsNumber and nature of complaints lodged and whether a complaint was rejected. No information may be displayed on complaints which may6 months
EnquiriesNumber of enquiries made on a consumer’s record, including the name of the entity/person who made the enquiry and a contact person if available1 yearPreviously 2 years
Payment ProfileFactual information pertaining to the payment profile of the consumer5 yearsNo change
Adverse classification of enforcement actionClassification related to enforcement action taken by a credit provider1 year (or deleted when settled)Previously 2 years
Adverse classification of consumer behaviourSubjective classification of consumer behaviour1 year (or deleted when settled)Previously 1 year
Debt RestructuringAs per section 86 of the Act, an order given by the Court or TribunalWithin the period prescribed in section 71(1) of the Act or until a clearance certificate is issuedPreviously until a clearance certificate is issued
Civil court judgementsCivil court judgements including default judgementsThe early of 5 years, rescission or abandoned by the credit providerPreviously 5 years
Maintenance Judgements in terms of the Maintenance ActAs per court judgementUntil the judgement is rescinded by a courtThis is a new category of data not previously held by the credit bureaus
SequestrationAs per the court order5 years or until rehabilitatedPreviously 10 years
RehabilitationAs per court order5 yearsNo change
Administration orderAs per the court order5 years or until order is rescinded by courtPreviously 10 years of until rescinded by court

Prior To Default/Adverse Listing With Credit Bureau/S

PreviouslyNew Regulations (15/03/2015)
No prescribed debt may be loaded on a credit bureau
Minimum installment has not been paid for a minimum of 3 consecutive billing cycles before actual listing **
Consumer must be given 20 business days notification of intention to listConsumer must be given 20 business days notification of intention to list
No adverse maybe listed if the consumer pays any arrears owing on an account are settled within the 20 business day’s notification period.
 If the arrears is settled subsequent to the listing – it must be removed from the credit bureau in the next data submission

** Does not prevent you from taking legal action in the normal course of business – such as a letter of demand, cancellation of services, court action.

Affordability Assessment Requirements  

The affordability criteria are applicable to all consumers, credit providers and credit agreements. There are a number of exceptions, which include where the consumer is a juristic person (inclusive of a sole proprietor and a trust) and developmental credit agreements, study loans, incidental credit agreement, emergency loans and temporary increase of credit under a credit facility. Credit providers should determine the consumer’s current financial means and prospects (income), as well as the consumer’s existing financial obligations (expenses). There is an obligation on credit providers to calculate a consumer’s discretionary income and the credit provider must take reasonable practicable steps to validate gross income by requesting three months’ bank statements or payslips. If a consumer is not a salary earner, the credit provider should request the latest three documents confirming proof of income or the latest three months’ bank statements. If a consumer is self-employed, the credit provider should request the latest three months’ bank statements or the latest financial statements.

The consumer is obliged to provide authentic documentation to the credit provider to allow the credit provider to conduct the affordability assessment. Note: This is interpreted to mean either an original document or a certified copy. When calculating the consumer’s discretionary income, the credit provider must take the gross income, statutory deductions and minimum living expenses, as per the expense norm table (as published in the Regulations), as well as all debt obligations into account. In certain exceptional circumstances the credit provider will be allowed to accept lower declared expenses, provided that the consumer completes a questionnaire (which is contained in a Schedule to the Regulations). As mentioned, the credit provider should also take the consumer’s debt repayment history into account. This enquiry must be performed within seven business days prior to approving credit or increasing the existing credit limit, or within 14 business days for mortgages. Enhanced disclosure requirements are now a requisite from credit providers. The credit provider must disclose the credit cost multiple and the total cost of credit in the pre-agreement statement and in the quotation to the consumer. If the credit cost multiple is disclosed for credit facilities, the credit cost multiple should be based on one year’s full utilisation of the proposed credit limit. The total cost of credit should include (but is not limited to) the principal debt, interest initiation fee, service fee aggregated to the lifespan of the loan and credit insurance (also aggregated to the lifespan of the loan).

Consumers can lodge a complaint with the credit provider if they are aggrieved by the outcome of the assessment, after which the consumer can approach the NCR if they do not agree with the outcome of the complaint.

Prescribed Reason For Information Employment

A consumer credit record may not be accessed by an employment agency, recruitment consultant, staffing company or employer unless they certify that any and all requests for consumer credit records relate to positions requiring honesty in dealing with cash or finances and the job descriptions of such positions are clearly outlined.


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