DebtSafe FAQ's

Q: How Do I Check My Credit Record?

A: You can easily check your credit record online. But, make sure that you use trusted platforms from reputable credit bureaus, or other recommended and registered companies in South Africa.

Here are DebtSafe’s five (5) recommended steps on HOW to pull your credit record:
Step 1:

Decide why you want to check your credit report. For example, you want to gain insight into your financial position and apply for credit. So, it would be best if you made sure that what the creditor finds is favourable.

You are legally entitled to pull a free credit report once a year at any registered credit bureau.  **Keep in mind – if you want to review your report multiple times during the year, additional fees may apply depending on the credit reporting company that you use.

Step 2:

Choose the correct website (for example, an online portal) of a trustworthy credit reporting agency, company, or credit bureau that you’d like to use. Various credit reporting companies allow you to sign in to an online (registered) account to check your profile and score for free. 

Step 3:

Visit the selected webpage and look for the instructions involving your credit record. You’ll usually need to click on a ‘Get Your Credit Report Here’ or similar button.

Step 4:

Create a new account (if you are not registered on the specific website/online portal yet) and complete the indicated form. The form can include various sections and options that you need to fill in, for example, your personal information and verifying your identity. If you have already registered, click on the ‘login’ button and carefully go through the instructions. Also, make sure that you regularly keep your info updated.

Step 5:

Review your credit report and score. Scrutinise your credit record for any discrepancies or wrong information and the reason for a low credit score, for example. See these types of red flags as an opportunity to improve your credit profile and start managing your finances accordingly.

**IMPORTANT: ** Before implementing the steps mentioned above on HOW to check your credit record, consider a few background insights first.

Additional details concerning the ‘WHAT’, the ‘WHY’, and the ‘WHERE’ regarding your credit record involve the following:
WHAT is your credit record & score exactly?

Your credit record/report is a document that contains valuable information about your financial dealings and credit history. It provides a perspective on how you managed your debt in the past. For example, how much you borrowed, from which creditor, and if you repay your instalments on time.

Your credit report indicates or calculates a credit score – the numerical view of your payment behaviour and credit history. This three-digit number considers your credit behaviour for the past 12 months. **Note: The credit record inquiries that you make will, however, stay on your report for two (2) years. And, remember: too many inquiries or ‘taking on new credit’ activities may indicate to lenders/creditors that you are a risky borrower, or in some cases, ‘just shopping around’.

Usually, credit bureaus or companies that provide credit records use their own or outsourced scoring models to evaluate your creditworthiness. Scoring models may differ but portray the same general concept. The score assigned is usually between 0 – 999. Thus, the higher your credit score (paying your debts on time, etc.), the better your credit profile. 

In short – your creditrecord/report reflects your credit activity, while your credit score represents a calculation of your credit activity.

WHY is it essential to check your credit record?

Regularly checking your credit history can give you an overview of your current financial position. And, it is one of the most critical money-managing tasks that should be part of your financial to-do list. 

It is specifically a good idea to check your record before applying for any credit, for example. 

Regularly inspecting your credit report can allow you to:

  • Know where your finances are at so that you can work proactively to manage your debt and personal finances better. It is essential to being financially successful. 
  • Detect incorrect information on your report and alert the credit bureau of any discrepancies BEFORE applying for credit (like a loan) to avoid your application being rejected, for example.
  • Pick up accounts that aren’t yours due to being a victim of identity theft, for example. Checking your record will, therefore, help you to prevent future misuse of your identity
  • Use your report to list all of your debts. Knowing exactly what debts you have to pay off first will help you manage your debt sustainably by getting rid of those ‘bad debts’ and maintaining good credit instead. 
  • Make sure you retain a good credit score to make sure future credit applications get approved. 
  • You can pull your credit record for FREE each year, so use the opportunity and gain insight into your finances in the process.

EXTRA: Want to know what your financial position portrays by also checking your DEBT-TO-INCOME ratio? Take a look at our insightful video

WHERE can you check your credit record?

You can check your credit record at any reputable credit bureau or registered company in South Africa.

TransUnion, XDS (see the Splendi platform), and Experian are three well-known credit bureaus (to name but a few). Each year, these credit bureaus make it possible for you to check your credit report for free.

The regulating body of the credit industry, known as the National Credit Regulator (NCR), also offers a detailed list with various registered entities that you can use or contact concerning your credit record/report. 

**See the  NCR’s recommended list here 

Extras –  More information involving your credit record

**Want to learn more about checking the ins and outs of your financial position and making use of a credit record? Good for you – Debt Management should be a continuous goal to keep your finances under control. Please take a look at our insightful, demonstrative video.

Also, see other Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) about your credit record here: