Know your Consumer Credit Rights


RCS wholeheartedly supports the National Credit Regulator in promoting and protecting the basic rights of all consumers.

We want our customers to be informed of their credit rights and to be able to assert those rights.

We believe it is our responsibility to empower consumers with information that will help them to make educated financial decisions. We know that “an informed consumer is a protected consumer”.

RCS also promotes fair lending practices. We ensure that your Consumer Rights, as provided for in the National Credit Act, are honoured.

 

THE RCS FAIR CREDIT PROMISE

RCS pledges that:

1. We will supply you with comprehensive documentation regarding any agreement. Our information will be presented in plain language. This means that the contents, meaning and importance of the document will be easy to understand. If you find any part of our documents unclear, our customer service representatives are trained to assist you. Ask as many questions as you like – we only want you to sign when you fully understand the terms and conditions of the agreement. 

2. We will provide a pre-agreement statement and quotation before you sign the credit agreement. This statement will be binding for five days and will disclose the terms and conditions pertaining to the amount borrowed. This will include:

3. Before we raise your credit limit, we will check that it is acceptable to you. We believe you know better than anyone how much you can afford and respect your right to a manageable credit limit.

4. We will give you clear reasons for any refusal of credit. We only use credit bureaus supported by the National Credit Regulator. We support your right to obtain a yearly credit report so that you may know for yourself what your credit rating is.

5. We will clearly outline and discuss dispute procedures. If you are unable to make your payments, we will work with you to structure an agreement that allows you to repay your account, yet still meet your monthly home-based responsibilities. We endorse your right to seek financial or debt counseling assistance. In the event of us not achieving an agreement, RCS will clarify any dispute procedures that need to be followed.

At RCS we believe that customers who are equipped with information and tools to handle their finances, will be able to deal with financial difficulties if they arise. Ultimately, we believe in building security and trust with our customer. 

 

How do I get a copy of my credit report?

You need to phone the relevant credit bureau and ask for a copy of your report. As per the National Credit Act, you are entitled to one free credit report per year. If you want another report within the same year, you need to pay an administration fee of approximately R20.00 per credit report.

What do I do if I can no longer afford my card repayments?

Over the past few years, tough economic conditions have seriously affected many South Africans. As companies streamline costs and try to stay afloat, some people have been retrenched and lost their monthly income whilst others have found that they were forced to take pay cuts.

Less income and steady expenditure combine to create enormous financial pressures. In these circumstances it can be difficult to meet your financial obligations and you can become over-indebted.

What does over-indebted mean?

A consumer is considered to be over-indebted if the money they have available after paying their essential expenses is not enough to pay off all other debts.

How do I tell if I am over-indebted?

There are some telltale signs:


That sounds like me: what should I do now?

As tempting as it might be, it is important not to hide away when experiencing financial difficulties. Understanding your rights and responsibilities can help you manage your debt and live within your means.  Follow these five important steps to address any repayment issues:

1. Be Proactive
RCS encourages our customers to contact us immediately should they foresee that they will not be able to fulfill their repayment responsibilities.  We will discuss with you how to make arrangements based on your current income and what you can afford to repay.

2. Check Your Credit Insurance
It is essential that retrenched customers inform all their credit providers to establish if they have credit life insurance included in their credit agreements. This is cover payable in the event of a consumer’s death, disability, terminal illness, unemployment or other insurable risks that may prevent the customer from meeting his/her obligations under a credit agreement.

3. Respond to Demand Notices
If you have not been in touch with us and have received a Letter of Demand or Final Notice, it is not too late to reach an agreement.  These important communications should never be ignored.  Call us to arrange a meeting. Our aim is to assist our customers to re-arrange their repayments so that they are more affordable.

4. Get Professional Help
RCS recommends that our customers who are experiencing financial setbacks seek assistance from registered and licensed financial advisors or debt counsellors. Through the National Credit Act, South Africans are offered debt counseling and debt review assistance at affordable costs.

5. Follow Legal Dispute Procedures
RCS will always give our customers prior notice before we approach a court for judgement to enforce debt repayments.  As noted above, we will ensure that our customers have been advised of the legal options available to them and check that they have been offered the option of bringing their payments up to date.

If we are still unable to reach a resolution, RCS will encourage our customer to seek help through the Legal Dispute Resolution mechanisms. 

 

What are the Legal Dispute Resolution Mechanisms?

The offices of the Credit Ombud and the National Credit Regulator assist in the resolution of complaints from consumers and businesses that are negatively impacted by credit bureau information, and disputes involving customers and a credit provider, debt counsellor or payment distribution agent.

There is a process that you are required to follow before lodging a complaint with the Credit Ombud or National Credit Regulator. A complaint can only be accepted if you have first lodged it with the relevant body or company. Both regulatory bodies deal with three different types of complaints:

Once you have established which type applies to your situation, follow the applicable Complaints Procedure.

Answers to other Frequently Asked Questions regarding the complaints procedure can be found here. 

Important Numbers:

Call Centre Numbers for Credit Bureaus

Useful contacts

© 2018 - RCS Group. RCS is a registered Credit and Financial Services Provider. NCRCP 38. FSP 44481