The often quoted financial consultants, Moneysmart (as well as certain other financial analysts and organisations with national footprints), have in recent months pointed out that the credit rating bureaux receive a flood of statistics and information (from a wide variety of sources whose reliability and accuracy cannot always be guaranteed) and mistakes in those can result in incorrect and negative information on the individual’s credit report.
Discussing this recently, Mike van Alphen, National Manager of the Rawson Property Group’s bond origination division, Rawson Finance, said that at least 35% of South African credit active consumers are now listed as being in arrears on their accounts.
“This figure, I have no doubt, is more or less accurate, but in view of what Moneysmart and others have said, a small percentage of those listed as being defaulters do not deserve to be there and a mistake has occurred somewhere along the line.”
Anyone contemplating applying for a home mortgage, said van Alphen, should not take it for granted that, because he has managed his finances well, he will have a blemish-free credit record. All aspirant home owners should, said van Alphen, make use of the free credit checks given annually to any applicant by all the bureaux. Such checks can be made, for example, by logging into www.mytransunion.co.za. If a mistake is then detected, the bureaux should then immediately be given the true facts and asked to put matters right.
This advice, said van Alphen, is especially important for the many less sophisticated people who may be first time home buyers and who quite possibly do not understand credit monitoring.
“I suspect that there have been a number of cases where such people have been wrongly assessed but have simply accepted the position. A credit check is therefore essential. However, even if a bond applicant is shown to be in arrears, they can, with the help of a bond originator or financial consultant, take steps to put the matter right. Here at Rawson Finance, we find that quite a high percentage of black listed applicants can obtain clean record status within three to nine months.”