Make sure a negative credit record at a credit bureau is not being used as a basis to deny you employment, says Manie van Schalkwyk, credit information ombudsman.
"The only time this information can be used for such a purpose is when considering a candidate for a position requiring high levels of trust and honesty, and entails handling cash or finances.
"Even so, this must be done with the full consent of the candidate before the report is requested from a bureau."
Van Schalkwyk says the new National Credit Act, which came into effect on Sunday, prevents companies from denying you employment because of blacklisting with credit bureaus.
The act also compels credit providers to give the consumer 20 working days' notice of the intention to blacklist.
If credit providers do not follow correct procedures as stipulated by the regulations, the blacklisted consumer can dispute the listing, which might be deemed invalid by the results of any investigation by dispute resolution bodies such as the credit information ombudsman.
"Consumers are entitled to a free credit report from a credit bureau once a year in terms of the act. I strongly recommend consumers contact a bureau to get their credit report and make use of this opportunity to know what is happening on their report, and to take steps if necessary," says Van Schalkwyk.
People who have a problem or feel their information at the credit bureau is incorrect or unfair should try resolving it with the credit providers and credit bureaus.
If this fails, they should contact the credit information ombudsman's office on 086-066-2837 or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
More useful information can be obtained by logging on to the ombudsman's website at www.creditombud.org.za.