Thank you for your question.
If you want to clear your credit record you should bring the arrears up to date first, and then pay the correct instalments for about 3 months, and then settle the accounts.
If the last status of an account is “in arrears” and you settle it on that status, your credit score will take longer to improve. If you pay the arrears and make regular payments for 3 months an all accounts are up to date it will reflect better on your credit score.
I would suggest that you pull your credit report from TransUnion and review your score. You will be able to see exactly what the status of your credit profile is. Remember that every time you apply for credit, it is also recorded on your credit profile, whether or not it has been granted. Multiple credit applications also negatively affect your credit score.
If you have settled your debt but it still shows on your credit record I would advise the following:
The National Credit Act states that the retention period for default listings has now been reduced to 12 months. In the same way, retention periods concerning administration and sequestration orders have been reduced to 5 years.
If you have reached your retention period and the information is still listed I would suggest you firstly dispute your credit listing with TransUnion. Here is a link to TransUnion’s page explaining the dispute process.
If you have a complaint about a specific credit provider you can lodge a complaint with the Credit Ombud. Here is a link to their page explaining the complaint procedure.
Also keep in mind that there are 4 major credit bureaus. TransUnion, Experian, XDS and Compuscan. It can be that some of these other credit bureaus have not yet updated your profile. TransUnion is the best of the lot and some of the other is really slow in updating their systems.
Hope this information helps.