As you reach the end of March, the month where you had more than enough reminders about your rights as a South African, DebtSafe wants to also remind you about your various CONSUMER rights…

It is crucial to know these rights when you apply for debt, as you can protect yourself during and after a credit agreement application process.

According to Carla Oberholzer, debt adviser at DebtSafe: “It is vital to get familiar with your consumer rights. These rights will allow you to make the best decisions when taking out credit agreements.”

Your consumer rights in terms of the National Credit Act (NCA) are, amongst others, to:

  1. Be able to apply for credit.
  2. Know or be informed when your application gets declined, what the reason is.
  3. Receive information and documentation in clear, as well as your desired, language.
  4. Receive monthly statements at no cost.
  5. Get access to your free credit report once a year from any registered Credit Bureau:
  1. Dispute incorrect information via Credit Bureaus.
  2. Protect your personal information.
  3. Disallow reckless lending practices. You have the right to voice your concerns and report any suspicious credit activities or behaviour by contacting the National Credit Regulator (complaints@ncr.org.za) and the Credit Ombud (ombud@creditombud.org.za).
  4. Not be misled by credit marketing or adverts. In other words, all information about the credit or credit product has to be disclosed to you, the consumer.
  1. Apply for a trusted debt rehabilitation programme, called Debt Review, if declared over-indebted.

It is crucial to know your various consumer rights concerning credit as it will give you the confidence to know what to expect, what to look out for and what NOT to tolerate when applying for credit.

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