Number of consumers in good credit standing declines

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Pretoria - The number of consumers in good credit standing for the quarter ended June 2009 decreased compared to the quarter ended March 2009, according to the National Credit Regulator (NCR).

"The percentage of consumers in good standing was 55.9 percent, a decrease of 1.7 percent when compared with the quarter ended March 2009 and a decrease of 4.5 percent when compared with the quarter ended June 2008," said the NCR on Wednesday.

The data emanates from credit bureaus which were regulated and monitored by the NCR. As at June 2009, credit bureaus recorded 17.79 million credit-active consumers.

The regulator said the number of indebted consumers continued to increase at 7.85 million at the end of the June 2009 quarter.

"This implies a deterioration in the credit records for 390 000 consumers in comparison to the last quarter and 1.06 million year-on-year, reflecting a further increase in the level of debt-stress. The trend of the consumers with impaired records has been on an increase since June 2007," said the NCR.

There were 121.46 million enquiries made on consumer credit records during the June quarter, an increase of 23.4 percent quarter-on-quarter.

From the total enquiries made on consumer records 39.4 percent were from banks and other financial institutions while those from retailers accounted for 14.2 percent. Telecommunications provider's enquiries accounted for 23.7 percent.

Additionally, the number of credit reports that were issued to consumers increased in the June quarter with 33 662 free credit reports being issued. This was an increase of 9.8 percent quarter-on-quarter. A further 5 288 credit reports were issued with charge.

"In the quarter ended June 2009, 7 072 disputes were lodged in relation to the information on consumer credit records. This was a quarter-on-quarter decrease of 15.5 percent and a year-on-year decrease of 26.8 percent," said the NCR.