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What is a credit report?

Your credit report is a snapshot of your financial history.

In South Africa, there are a number of bureaus that compete to capture, update, and store the credit histories of most credit active South African consumers, which becomes your credit report.

While most of the information collected by the bureaus are similar, there are differences. For example, one credit bureau may have unique information captured on a consumer that is not being captured by the others; or the same data element may be stored or displayed differently from bureau to bureau.

The credit reporting companies update your credit report as they receive new information from creditors and lenders. Your credit record changes based on your financial activity. Managing your credit and maintaining a good credit history can lead to better rates on major purchases.

Here are a few tips to help ensure that your credit reports are viewed in the most favourable light:

•    Routine credit check-ups,
•    Paying your bills on time, and
•    Keeping your credit card balances below their limits.

What are the next steps?