Navigating the financial landscape: Credit bureau reports and scores

Patricia Louw
In the ever-evolving world of personal finance, understanding your credit bureau report is vital to making informed financial decisions. Your credit bureau report is a snapshot of your credit history, and it plays a crucial role in shaping your financial future.

It is important to investigate the intricacies of credit bureau reports, exploring what they are, where to find them, the factors that influence your credit score, and actionable steps to improve your score.

A credit report is a detailed record of your credit history compiled by credit reporting institutions called credit bureaus. These reports contain information about your credit accounts, payment history, outstanding balances and other relevant financial activities, such as adverse classification of customer behaviour and an enforcement action initiated by credit providers. Adverse classifications of consumer behaviour include classifications such as delinquent, slow-paying, absconded or not contactable, which may remain on your credit report between one to two years.

Adverse classifications of enforcement action - where action was taken by a credit provider - include being handed over for collection or recovery, legal action, write-off or judgment, which may remain on your credit report between two to five years.

Credit reporting institutions, such as TransUnion and Credit Info, are registered under the credit bureau regulations of the Bank of Namibia Act to collect and maintain customers’ credit information, and provide lenders with a detailed overview of your creditworthiness when you apply for credit.

Locating your credit report

Accessing your credit report is a fundamental step in taking control of your financial health. As per the section 23(1)(c) and (d) of the of the credit bureau regulations, individuals are entitled to a free annual credit report from a credit bureau and may challenge information contained in the credit report. You can obtain your report by visiting the websites of the two registered credit bureaus in Namibia. Regularly reviewing your credit report allows you to spot inaccuracies, unauthorised accounts, or potential signs of identity theft.