A judgement, with respect to an individual’s credit history, is a court order obtained by the lender which goes on the credit report. The court order is for the borrower to make the due payments and also empowers the lender to take action against the individual so as to recoup their money.
When a lender moves the court to get the judgement in South Africa and the court gives it then the judgement goes onto the individual’s credit report. Such judgements affect the individual’s credit score adversely and are visible to every organisation that has access to the credit report.
It should also be noted that after a judgement has been passed and the borrower has paid back the due money, the judgement can still remain on his credit report. The process of removing a judgement is not complicated but still requires the borrower to take some initiative.
If you are wondering about judgements on your credit report then here are steps that you can follow to have them removed.
1. Order your credit report and check it:
The first thing you need to do is to figure out whether there are judgements on your credit report. You are entitled to one free copy from every credit bureau for free every year.
There are three credit bureaus in South Africa. You should ask for a credit report from all three credit bureaus and check them individually for existing judgements.
2. Make note of all judgements on it:
All the judgements that you find on your credit reports need to be taken note of and compared to your own personal finances. This comparison needs to be careful because it would reveal whether the judgements are fair or not.
Once you have figured out if there are any judgements on your credit report that should not be there, you can go about the removal process.
3. Settle the debt and pertinent costs:
A judgement can only be removed from your credit report if it has been settled. Therefore, you need to settle your debt and resultant costs of the judgement first. For this, you should contact your creditors, initiate, and complete the settlement of your debts and resultant costs.
4. Contact the credit bureaus:
Once you have settled all your debts and have proof of this in writing, you can contact the credit bureaus for the removal of the judgements. You can either contact them via phone or through mail and request the removal of the judgement.
Make sure that you send documentation proving that the judgements should no longer be a part of your credit report.
5. Request the corrected credit report:
When you send proof that the judgement should not be included in your credit report, you should also ask the credit bureaus to send you the corrected credit report.
6. Forward the corrected credit report to relevant organisations:
It is possible that there were some enquiries made for your credit report and a credit report with the judgement was sent to the requesting organisation. You should ask the credit bureau to forward the corrected report to these organisations or do so yourself.
Removing judgements from your credit report is not that difficult provided all your debts are settled and the judgements are unfair. Follow the aforementioned process and your judgements will be removed from your credit report.