We are asking all of our readers to take action with us and programs like Carte Blanche to expose fraudulent online loan operations, loan sharks and unethical loan practices by many online loan companies. Share this article with your friends and help us to help all South Africans make better loan decisions.
Carte Blanche recently did some solid coverage on a topic that sits close to the heart of the Fincheck team and is one of our core reasons for launching our online loan comparison engine with NCR registered lenders. In this post, we talk a bit more about the full scope of the NCR.
Getting financial aid is easier than ever, but with so many loan providers that want to sell you on their product, how do you safely choose which you can trust?
Who is the NCR?
The NCR (or National Credit Regulator) was established as the regulator under the National Credit Act and is responsible for the regulation of the South African credit industry. It is tasked with ensuring education, research, policy development, investigation of complaints, and most importantly, the registration of industry participants (the financial institutions we borrow from) and thus the enforcement of the Act. This Act requires the NCR to promote an accessible credit market and is responsible for the proper registration of credit providers, credit bureaus and debt counsellors.
The maximum interest rate you may be charged by a money lender is set by the National Credit Act. Always make sure that the rate you will be charged is not above what is allowed. As a South African citizen, you are also entitled to one free credit report per year from a registered credit bureau.
Focusing specifically on the consumer credit and debt market in South Africa, the NCR is a firm believer in encouraging consumers to live within their means, especially those with impaired credit records. If you are searching for a loan to cover unexpected costs, looking for debt counselling, or to make a once-off big ticket purchase, you need to protect yourself from unfair practices, especially if you are searching online amongst a sea of lenders. You need to know your rights, check your credit rating and find out if the lender you’re considering is formally registered.
Before you accept an offering from a lender, know that there are, and most probably always will be, financial institutions that want to evade legislation. These companies provide false information and won’t be registered with the NCR.
The process you need to follow to check a lender
The most reliable way of spotting quickly if a loan provider is formally accredited is to not only make sure they clearly mention it in their information but to visit the NCR online and get official confirmation of their registration status. It is a simple as following this process:
- Key in the lender name and registration number
- Click on the search bar
- Review the records to see if the lender matches the official records
Bonus tip: You can learn a lot by reviewing social media and google channels to see how active lenders are and what people are saying about them.
“Never take this process lightly as there are many fraudsters online”
We recommend you always engage in this method to ensure the safest results and that you obtain a loan from a trustworthy lender. Lastly, if your lender has clear lending limits, transparent practices and offers reliable customer service before you have paid any fees, you should be in good hands.