The debt must still be settled if you are to keep your credit record clean in the future. The South African government has implemented a credit information amnesty from April 1, 2014. The amnesty will give all consumers a fresh start with a clean credit record.
This is great news if you are one of the many South Africans struggling to secure a job or a loan for a car or home as a result of a poor credit record
The record goes, but the debt remains
The amnesty effectively instructs credit bureaus to remove adverse credit information about you from their files. It forbids them from sharing this information with credit providers such as banks and retailers as well as employers and employment agencies.
Under the new amnesty:
- Credit bureaus have until May 31 to remove from their files any adverse (or negative) information they keep on record about your debt payment history and steps debtors have taken against you;
- Very importantly, the debt remains payable until you have settled it;
- Credit bureaus have until May 31 to scrub your credit record clean of words such “delinquent”, “defaulter”, “absconded” or “slow paying” if you have paid your debts;
- Such terms, going forward, must be removed from your profile once you have repaid a debt you defaulted on;
- But bureaus can keep on record for five years factual and detailed information that reflects your debt repayment behaviour.