On the 21st March we celebrate Human Rights Day. What about your financial rights? Well “An informed customer is a protected customer”. There are, according to the National Credit Regulator, over 23 million credit-active South Africans but only 47,6% of people are “current” with their repayments, meaning that they pay their accounts on time.

This month get Credit Savvy – start by accessing your right to a free credit report available from the Major Personal Credit Bureaus once a year. Simply click on www.mytransunion.co.za, www.creditexpert.co.za, or www.credit4life.co.za to get your free credit report today.

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Your credit report is the heart beat to your credit life, it shows you valuable information on who has been looking at your credit report (enquiries) as well as how you are managing your credit payments on a monthly basis (payment profile).

A credit provider must explain the terms and conditions of your loan in simple language that you can easily understand, and must provide you with a copy of all terms and conditions of your agreement, including interest rate, monthly instalments, number of repayments and total cost of the agreement. They must also inform you that they have the right to report non-payment to the credit bureaus and that this will have an impact on your ability to receive future credit.

With rights come responsibilities, and it is your responsibility to complete your application for credit honestly and accurately, and to declare your existing financial commitments. This enables credit providers to assess your application fairly. It is also your responsibility to pay your accounts in full and on time, every month. If you are not able to meet your commitments due to unforeseen circumstances it is your responsibility to inform your creditors and to renegotiate the terms of your agreement. Feeling over indebted? You are not alone, click here for debt solutions.