Getting your free credit report and score
Since the acquisition of Compuscan in 2019, Experian provides free credit reports and free credit scores on My Credit Check and My Credit Expert, which are our easy-to-use, online portals that allows all South African citizens with valid South African ID numbers to access their credit information via their personal extensive credit reports.
Whether you are a first-time credit report user or not, My Credit Check and My Credit Expert will help you understand your credit data, show you how to monitor accounts, manage debt, and improve your credit profile.
You can access your personal credit reports through either the My Credit Check or My Credit Expert portals.
Note: Your credit score based on the Experian Sigma Database may be different to the one based on the Experian Database because the formulas and variables used to create the scores differ. Currently, these two databases and the scoring models are kept separate.
The free My Credit Check and My Credit Expert services generate full free credit reporst which provide a comprehensive records of your financial history, detailed information on your borrowing and spending habits, payment trends and contact details. Information includes accounts you opened, payments you’ve skipped, judgments taken against you and what you owe your creditors.
Experian’s free credit reports were designed to help you keep up to date with your financial status by doing a credit bureau check. With helpful tips and easy steps, you can now get your finances in order.
The data included in Experian’s free credit reports comes from credit providers you have borrowed from. Whether it’s a clothing account, a loan from the bank, or cell phone contract, all credit data gets sent to registered credit bureaus, like Experian, which enables credit bureaus to do credit bureau checks.
Each of Experian’s free credit reports includes your credit score and payment behaviour in a simple and easy to understand format. Information is grouped for you to see what activity has the biggest impact on your credit score and finances. The free credit report is an in-house credit bureau check.
We have included quick tips to explain the data and give advice on how to better manage your credit. On the dashboard, you will be able to see an overview of your credit report – you don’t need to spend hours sifting through a lot of data.
The free credit check platform includes:
Your credit score is the single most important financial score you’ll ever get. Yes, it’s even more important than matric aggregate, body fat count, or golf handicap, since credit providers use this credit score when deciding whether or not to extend credit to you. So be sure to maintain a good track record!
Your Experian credit score is calculated via a credit bureau check, using information from your full credit profile. Experian evaluates all of your accounts, your negative and positive information, and your payment history to assign you a credit score of 0–999. The higher your credit score is, the better your credit profile, and the lower your risk will be of defaulting on an account or loan would be.
The Experian credit score is derived from a credit bureau check, and includes your borrowing, charging and repayment activities. It summarises a number of positive and negative factors that aim to predict how likely you are to honour your credit commitments in the future.
A favourable credit report helps you reach your financial goals while poor credit reports and credit scores limit your financial opportunities. Since your credit report could influence whether you are able to buy a home or get any kind of credit, it is extremely important to protect your credit score by making loan and account payments on time and not taking on more debt than you can handle.
Key information used to calculate your credit score includes account information (personal loans, credit accounts, other loans), public records, such as judgments and administration and sequestration orders. Information such as race, gender, where you live and marital status are not used in calculating credit scores.
The My Credit Check blog is a financial education resource for consumers in South Africa with a focus on savings, budgeting, credit checks, credit reports and credit scores.
How do I get my free credit report?
Experian offers South African consumers free unlimited access to their My Credit Check and My Credit Expert credit reports and credit scores.
What is Experian Sigma?
The My Credit Check portal references data from the Experian Sigma database, which is the historical Compuscan bureau database. Your My Credit Check credit report and credit score are generated from the Experian Sigma database.
Your credit report can’t be viewed by just anyone! The information contained in your credit report is confidential, and companies and individuals who wish to view your report may only do so for a prescribed purpose. The National Credit Regulator (NCR) has set out specific guidelines in accordance with the National Credit Act (NCA) that deal with prescribed purposes. Experian prides itself on protecting your privacy and we always comply by the rules and regulations provided by the NCR.
Is my free credit report stopping me from getting a job?
No. Your free credit report is not usually a deciding factor on whether or not you’ll get a job. In fact, according to the Employment Equity Act of 1998, potential employers may not deny you a job on the grounds of the nature of your credit report, unless your credit profile is an inherent requirement of the job – in other words, if you are going to be employed in a position that requires trust and honesty and entails the handling of cash or finances.
Do I need to check my free credit report if I pay all my debt on time?
Yes. It is important that you check your credit report regularly to ensure that the information is being reported to the credit bureau correctly. Also remember to use your credit report to detect any fraudulent activity against your record.
Will regularly checking my free credit check affect my credit score?
No, we do not penalise you for checking your credit score or your credit report on My Credit Check.
Will my free credit report show when I was denied credit?
No. Potential credit providers will, however, be able to see how many enquiries other lenders have made on your profile, but nowhere will it say if the applications were unsuccessful.
Will debt information remain on my free credit report after I have paid?
Yes. Your free credit report will still show that you owed money and paid it off. The good news is that this will be seen as positive information, since your free credit report will show that the account has been paid in full! If, however, you have not handled the account well, the historical bad repayment behaviour will be seen in a negative light. It is therefore important to always pay your creditors on time. The retention period for accounts that are paid in full is 5 years after the last payment date. However, Experian’s free My Credit Check credit report will only show the information for three years after the last payment date.
Can a credit bureau stop me from getting credit?
No. Credit bureaus are not credit providers, so they have no say in whether you are granted credit or not. However, the data provided by Experian to potential credit providers will assist them in making that decision, which is why it is so important for you to get your credit report and take control of your credit reputation.
If I have a lot of debt, will my credit score will be bad?
That depends, if you have a lot of debt, but you are managing it well, you will have a good credit score! Your repayment history affects your free credit score and appears on your credit report. Meaning, if you have been a bad payer, your score will reflect this. The total amount of your credit does not usually affect the outcome of your credit score, since your credit score is mostly calculated according to your repayment actions and not necessarily by the amount you owe. Just be aware that if your revolving accounts and credit cards have a balance of 50% or more of the limit, the score could be affected.
What should I do if the information on my free credit check report looks wrong?
If any of the information on your credit report is incorrect, outdated or unfair, you may log a dispute with Experian following the process below. When you contact our call centre, you will be requested to submit a copy of your ID and proof of address (no older than 3 months) to verify your identity and in support of your dispute. Supporting documentation may also be required. Once all documentation is received, you will be supplied with an Experian reference number.
Allow 20 business days for Experian to resolve your dispute or query. During this time, Experian will contact the supplier of the disputed data for further information and evidence relating to the data. The information being disputed will be masked from display during the 20-business day investigation period and a notice to this effect is displayed on the credit report during this period to notify the reader that there is a dispute under way and that all the information is not reflected on the credit report. If, at the end of this period, Experian does not receive credible evidence from the supplier to support the data, the dispute will be resolved in your favour.
The National Credit Act (NCA) provides you with the right to dispute any factually incorrect information on your credit report generated by a credit bureau and to have this information corrected.
Logging a dispute with Experian is free of charge. Why pay one of the many “credit clearing companies” that charge money for doing something that you could do for free? Once you have logged a dispute with us, we have 20 business days to investigate the dispute. To find out more about logging a dispute at Experian, please visit our blog by clicking here.
If you are dissatisfied with the outcome, please contact the Credit Ombud on 086 166 2837 or at www.creditombud.org.za for further assistance, their services are free to consumers. Remember to provide your dispute reference number in order for the Credit Ombud to assist you.
Experian now holds two databases of consumer information; this information is used by financial services providers when performing a credit assessment and in some instances a score enquiry on consumers. We receive consumer data from financial services providers when consumers make an application or update their details with the service provider. We also receive payment information that reflects consumer payment behaviour, such as if they’ve made payments on time, have skipped payments or closed an account.
To challenge information on your credit report generated from My Credit Check, please contact Consumer Care:
To challenge information on your credit report generated from My Credit Expert, please contact Consumer Care:
You have the right to apply for credit
The National Credit Act (NCA) gives you the right to apply for credit. All consumers must be treated equally in relation to one another when credit providers assess your application, determine rates/fees and compile and enforce the credit agreement.
You have the right to know why credit has been refused
You may ask the credit provider or bank to explain, in writing, their main reasons for:
If your credit score or report was the main problem, the bank or credit provider has to disclose the name, address and contact details of the credit bureau that issued the report, so that you can get hold of your credit report to see what information on the credit report is keeping you from a successful application. Please note, your credit score and report are not the only factors lenders, banks and other credit providers look at when doing an assessment. The criteria they look at differs from company to company.
You have the right to receive your credit information in plain and understandable language
Credit information, credit reports and credit scores must be presented in a way that anyone can understand. To ensure that this happens, the bank or credit provider has to use plain language, simple sentence structures and uncomplicated graphics and illustrations to help you understand your credit application.
You have the right to confidentiality
You have the right to maintain your confidentiality regarding your credit report. Unless you give permission, the banks, credit providers, and credit bureaus are not allowed to disclose your personal information to any other party, except when required by Law or court order.
You have the right to one free credit report per year!
It is also your right to receive a free credit report once a year, every year, from any of the credit bureaus operating in South Africa. You are entitled to dispute incorrect entries made and, if you can’t reach an agreement with the Credit Bureau, you are allowed to approach the Ombudsman.