Knowing the regulating bodies in South Africa gives consumers vital information on how credit is standardised and how debt counselling in SA is monitored. Regulating bodies serve to ensure fair practice in the credit industry and ensure that debt counsellors are well-trained and that their practices are monitored. Debt counselling in SA relies on regulating bodies to keep practices fair and standardised.
1. The National Credit Regulator (NCR)
Following the implementation of the National Credit Act 34 of 2005, the National Credit Regulator was established with the objective to regulate the South African credit industry. These duties include registration of debt counsellors, credit providers and credit bureaus. Ultimately they serve to ensure fair practice in the credit industry and enforce the regulations laid down in the National Credit Act.
2. The Debt Counsellorís Association of South Africa (DCASA)
The Debt Counsellorís Association of South Africa was established shortly after debt counselling in SA became a viable career in South Africa. It serves the debt counselling industry ensuring that debt counsellors are always up to date on new laws, regulations and credit developments in the industry. It also enforces a code of ethics, and enforces it strictly. The DCASA acts as a link between various credit bodies and debt counsellors, as well as governmental bodies. Ultimately it aims to provide consumers with well trained and knowledgeable debt counsellors.
3. The Credit Bureaus
A credit bureau specializes in collecting data on debtors and storing them, making them available upon request in order to assess the consumerís credit history and credit viability. The records they keep indicate payment history, payment lapses and default judgments against the consumer. Credit bureaus are an asset when it comes to detecting fraudulent credit activity, such as identity theft. They will also provide a consumer with their own credit history upon request.
4. The Credit Ombudsman
The credit ombudsman is agency that receives and deals with complaints from debtors and creditors who feel that they have been wrongly affected by a credit bureau, credit provider or debt counsellor. They are an independent organisation that prides itself on promoting fair credit practices.