Don’t be fooled. When it comes to getting your credit report and credit score in South Africa, you shouldn’t have to pay any money, and after reading this guide, you won’t.
All South Africans are entitled to one free credit report every 12 months, according to the National Credit Act. You can order your free credit report online without paying at one or more of these four vetted credit bureaus; XDS, Experian, Compuscan, and TransUnion.
That said, credit reports from these vetted bureaus don’t usually show you your overall credit score. Most companies will charge you money for that extra bit of information.
However, I’ve researched and found the best options you can use right now that will give you access to a free credit score along with a credit report. So make sure you keep reading!
IMPORTANT NOTE: Want to learn how to build or improve your credit score right here in South Africa? Read my in-depth guide here.
01. ClearScore (WINNER: Forever FREE Credit score & Credit Report)
When I came across ClearScore, I very quickly lost interest in all other ‘free’ credit score and report offers in South Africa. Let me explain.
ClearScore is extremely easy to use, and the credit score and reports they offer is 100% free all the time. Once you sign up, you get lifetime access to your updated credit score and credit report without ever paying a cent.
What makes ClearScore even better is they have a mobile application so you can access all your credit data straight from the comfort of your mobile phone wherever you are and whenever you need it.
But how trustworthy and accurate is their credit data? Well, ClearScore is powered by Experian, which is one of South Africa’s four main credit bureaus. This means all the data they have on you will be up to date and extremely accurate.
What do you get when you sign up to ClearScore?
- Once you sign up for free, the first thing you’ll see on the dashboard is your credit score, along with the national average, which allows you to compare your score to everyone else.
- You also get access to your credit report. Usually, credit reports are clunky and hard to read. However, ClearScore breaks down your information nicely and actually highlights the different factors in your report that are affecting your credit score, such as payment history and credit inquiries, etc.
- ClearScore also offers coaching that will give you actionable education on how to improve your score.
- And best of all, ClearScore also lays out all your available credit offers. So with a click of a button, you’ll be able to see any loans, credit cards, car insurance offers, and cellphone contracts that are offered to you based on your current credit score.
Pretty neat, right? If you’re dying to get started, keep reading.
Here’s how to sign up to ClearScore:
- First, navigate to the ClearScore sign up page here. You can also sign up using the mobile app. Download the application for Android here and iPhone here.
- Next, insert your email address in the signup area and click on the ‘See my score’ button.
- Insert your personal details.
- Then go through the knowledge base authentication. You’ll get asked a series of questions about your personal credit history. It’s important that you get these questions right so that you can get approved instantly.
The process shouldn’t take you more than a few minutes, so make sure you stick it out. It will be worth it!
So what’s the catch? How can ClearScore possibly offer a free credit score and report forever? While everyone else is charging money?
Well, I’m speculating here, but I think they make their money through the ‘credit offers’ section, where they offer you credit options based on your credit score.
This is a brilliant move, in my opinion. Rather than charging every user, they only make money through selling credit offers, which can still be extremely lucrative for them.
They still make money, and you get free access to all your credit data. It’s a win-win for everyone.
If you would like to get in touch with ClearScore visit this link.
02. My Credit Check (Credit score & Credit Report)
This brilliant credit report online portal is powered by Experian and Compuscan, which are two of South Africa’s four main credit bureaus that have a ton of credibility.
Here’s what My Credit Check offers with a free sign up:
- Your credit score
- Your payment history
- Any negative notices that affect your credit score, such as missed payments, etc
- Also offers a function where you can dispute any payment defaults
- And more…
The application process is also pretty quick and user friendly. The process only takes a few minutes and can be done on with minimal documents. The only drawback is if they can’t verify you automatically, then you’ll have to manually send through your proof of residence and I.D, which will take around 48 hours for them to review.
To avoid going through the manual process, use the right I.D and mobile number that would be attached to your credit record. Credit Bureaus use the information you provide to match it to their records for automatic verification.
Documents you might need to apply:
- Proof of residence – They only accept bank statements, cell phone bills, and utility bills that display your name and updated address.
- Your South African I.D
Steps to apply:
- Visit their 3rd party credit report provider mycreditcheck.co.za.
- Click on the red ‘Sign me up 3-2-1’
- Then go through the 5 simple steps
If you need help with the signup process, you can give My Credit Check a call on 0861-51-41-31 or email them at email@example.com.
03. Splendi (Credit Report & Credit Score)
Splendi is another great credit report online platform owned by South Africa’s largest credit bureau in South Africa called XDS (Xpert Decision Systems.) Since they are the largest, they have access to a lot of your personal credit data, which makes their credit score very accurate.
Here’s what Splendi offers with a free sign up:
Splendi offers up to date free credit score with each log in along with a credit report that you can download as a PDF document. Once you sign up, you also get access to your 24 months of payment history as well as alerts every time a credit account gets opened in your name.
If that’s not enough, Splendi also offers free education that helps you build and maintain a solid credit history, even if you’re building your credit record from scratch.
Steps to sign up with Splendi:
- Visit the official Splendi website here
- Click on the ‘green sign’ up button
- Insert your South African I.D number and your cellphone number. Make sure you insert a valid cellphone number. You’ll have to verify it at the end of the process.
- Next, you’ll go through a knowledge base authentification. You’ll get asked a series of questions about your personal credit history.
- Upload a picture of your face
- Then complete the final steps
If all goes well, you’ll be able to login to your account and download your credit report or check your credit status. They should be able to verify you automatically, however in some cases, they won’t, and you’ll need to send in documents for manual verification.
If you need help, email Splendi at firstname.lastname@example.org.
04. TransUnion Credit Bureau (Credit Report Only)
Transunion is another one of the four major credit bureaus in South Africa that you can use to order your free online credit report. They have their own online platform that you can sign with,
Here’s what TransUnion offers with a free sign up:
Once signed up, you can only get a free credit report without a credit score, which is unfortunate.
To get your credit score with TransUnion you’ll have to upgrade to the paid TrueCredit version for around R300 a year, so if you’re looking for a free option you might want to use ClearScore instead.
To get your free credit report from transunion:
- Navigate to TransUnion free annual credit report page here.
- Click on the huge orange ‘Get your free credit report’ button.
- Enter your personal details
- Verify your identity
- Then get your free credit report in you email inbox
Once you’ve applied for your free credit report, it should show up in your inbox within 24 hours.
If you need to contact TransUnion directly, you can contact them by calling 0861-482-482.
This list is obviously limited to the options that I found and what I’ve used, so it doesn’t guarantee that these are the absolute best options out there.