One of the most important things that you have to monitor in personal finance are your credit reports. You can get one free credit report per year from each of the credit bureaus here in South Africa. What is actually shown in your credit report? Let me explain the usual entries…Credit Report

Personal Details:
They get this information from any enquiries for credit that you have made. Generally, it includes things like name, identity number, occupation, employers, marital status, physical address and telephone numbers.

A credit summary:
This is usually above the personal details section, after the personal details section or at the bottom of the credit report. In this section they will show any adverse credit listings, such as late payments of accounts, judgements, enforced action or rehabilitation. This information is obtained from credit providers or is in the public domain.

A summary is shown of all you credit accounts. Normally it shows how long they have been open, payment history, the credit limits and the amounts borrowed. This is generally shown over a 24 month cycle.

Only judgements that are because of a credit agreement will show up on your credit report. You will not find late traffic fines on there for this reason.

Everyone actually has multiple credit scores, which are calculated based on the information in their credit reports. These provide an easy way for lenders to judge your creditworthiness. You are entitled to a free credit report, but you have to pay to see your credit score. In my next post I will discuss how your credit score is calculated.

Kevin Mzansi