By Courtney Maderra, Financial Consulant at Debt-Savvy
Hi, my name is Courtney a Financial Consultant at Debt-Savvy, and today I am going to teach you about loan contracts and your consumer rights.
These are a few basic points that an individual should be mindful of when applying for credit:
1. As per the national credit act, you have the right to apply for credit from any credit provider. The right however does not prevent the credit provider from refusing to grant the credit provided this is done on reasonable grounds.
2. The right not to be discriminated against when applying for credit: Consumers who are applying for credit are further protected against unfair discrimination by a credit provider. The Act forbids credit providers from discriminating against consumers on the basis of colour, race, age, political affiliation, sexual orientation, religious belief, or affiliation to any particular trade union. A consumer who is of the opinion that he/she has been discriminated against for these reasons may act against the credit provider through the Equality Court, or may complain to the National Credit Regulator which will refer the matter to the Equality Court.
3. The right to be given reasons for credit being declined, in my experience as a debt counselour consunmers are often unaware as to why they were denied credit. Its critical that one understands as to why they were denied so that one can resolve the issue and persue their initial aims and goals.
4.The National Credit Act gives a consumer, whose credit application has been declined by a credit provider, the right to request written reasons explaining why his/her application for credit has been declined. If the decision to decline the consumer's request is based on an unfavourable report received from a credit bureau, the Act stipulates that the credit provider must supply the consumer in writing with the name, address and other contact details of the credit bureau from which the credit provider received the information. This is as per section 62 of the National credit act.
5.The right to be given documents in an official language that the consumer understands. A consumer has the right to receive documents from a credit provider in an official language that he/she understands. Documents that a credit provider must give to a consumer include the credit agreement, quotations and statements. Most credit providers provide all their Contracts in English, Afrikaans, isiZulu and isiSotho.
6. The right to be given documents in plain and understandable language. A consumer has the right to receive information and documents in plain language. This means that the contents, meaning and importance of the document must be easy to understand.
7. The right to be given documents related to the credit transaction The Act gives the consumer the right to receive documents relating to the credit agreement in a manner that the consumer chooses. A consumer may choose to receive documents either in person at the credit provider's place of business, email.
8. The right to confidential treatment The consumer's right to confidentiality is protected by the provision that any person or organisation that receives or compiles confidential information on a consumer must use the information for the sole purpose for which the consumer has given his/her consent.
9. The right to access your credit report .The Act gives the consumer the right to. Access information that a credit bureau has in relation to him/her. The information must be given to the consumer free of charge every twelve months.
10. Challenge and request proof of the accuracy of information held by a credit bureau. Should a credit bureau fail to provide the consumer with proof of accuracy of information that the consumer disputes, it is compelled to remove the disputed information from its records.
11. The right to receive periodic statements The Act stipulates that a credit provider must provide a consumer with a statement once a month or once every two months if the agreement is an instalment sale agreement, lease or secured loan. A long interval may be allowed with the consent of the consumer. This interval may, however, not exceed 3 months. With regards to a mortgage agreement the consumer is entitled to receive a statement every six months.
Debt-Savvy can do a free and confidential credit assessment over the phone and immediately determine how much you could be saving on interest rates. We can help you reduce your monthly payments and interest rates right away. Contact Debt-Savvy today, and live a carefree life tomorrow.
Choose any other article!
Contact us using the online chat for more advice!
Registration can be done online using our mobile app.
We are the first debt management firm in South Africa to specialise in matters of consumer finance. Our clients come from all 9 provinces of South Africa, and we help them to:
Our financial technology allows us to keep our fees 20% lower than industry norm. We can match any quote!
For the first time in my life my accounts went into arrears because of unexpected hospital bills. Before I knew I was borrowing again and again, until I got trapped in the debt cycle. I saw an advert on Facebook from Debt-Savvy, so I contacted them and someone phoned me immediately to explain the law to me. I realised that I could renegotiate with my lenders and I have legal rights!
As a government employee the banks are always willing to lend to us. They lent me so much that I could not afford to pay it back and also provide food and school fees for my children. I contacted Debt-Savvy, and Sharleen explained to me that banks are not allowed to do "reckless lending". She explained that the lenders took advantage of me and that I can use debt review as a solution.
When I realised that I could never afford to keep up with my payments I became depressed about my debt. I was so embarrased and I thought it was my fault. I was too afraid to ask my work, family or friends for help. That's when I saw an advert for Debt-Savvy. They spoke to my lenders for me and were able to negotiate an instalment I could afford. I wish I had acted sooner.