A Fin24 user writes:
About three years ago, I was under pressure because of my debt problems. I was told that I should go and see a debt councillor.
When speaking to the debt councillor, she advised me that all my debit orders would be reduced by 50% and that the National Payment Distribution Agency (NPDA) would debit my account with an amount they would distribute to my outstanding accounts.
When I asked whether this will influence my credit rating on Transunion, I was assured that all the banks change the amount owed monthly to the new amount agreed upon (less 50%) per month.
After the first two years, I received a call from one of the banks saying that the amounts from the NPDA had just stopped and more money was paid to my other commitments.
According to the NPDA, the amount was paid in full, which I had to settle with the bank by myself.
Then when I settled all my accounts in November 2012, I asked my debt councillor to remove me from debt counselling, which she did. She assured me that she had informed all the credit bureaus that I was now no longer under debt review.
When I tried to apply for finance for a new car a couple of months later, I was declined due to my bad credit record.
I then got a new Transunion report and to my horror, all my accounts that were under debt counselling showed that I was in arrears.
I have now been told that I have to wait two years before my name will be cleared. Surely this is not correct?Clark Gardner, CEO of 6cents.co.za and Summit Financial Wellbeing, responds:
If all your debts were repaid and your debt counsellor issued your clearance certificate, then your credit records should not contain any adverse information or any reference to your being under debt counselling.
Lodge your complaint with the credit bureau (you mention Transunion) and thereafter with the credit ombud as this would be unacceptable.
The ombud's contact details are as follows:
Call centre: 0861 OMBUDS (0861 662837)
Fax: 086 683 4644
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