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Credit 101: A Brief Guide to Credit Bureaus in South Africa

There are currently over 24 million credit users in South Africa. Yet only 3% of South African borrowers have actually viewed their credit bureau reports.

South Africa’s credit bureaus can play a crucial role in your finances, but with around 14 registered bureaus it can be hard to keep track of them all.

Keep reading for our breakdown of South Africa’s top four credit bureaus, as well as info on some of its smaller bureaus.

What is a Credit Bureau?

Credit bureaus are the agencies responsible for your credit score. They collect data on your accounts, loans, balances, and payments to compile a report of your borrowing habits.

Each credit bureau could have slightly different information about you and your finances, so it is important to monitor as many as possible.

Information that the credit bureaus have collected about you can affect your ability to borrow money or even get a job.

The most important credit bureaus to monitor are:

TransUnion

Started in 1901, TransUnion South Africa was originally the only credit bureau in the country.

TransUnion is currently the largest credit bureau in South Africa. It maintains data on over 18 million consumers and their credit histories.

TransUnion South Africa was first named the Information Trust Corporation, or the ITC. This name changed in 2003 to better align with the global TransUnion corporation.

Many South Africans still call the newer credit bureaus “ITC” out of habit.

You can request a free yearly credit report from TransUnion.

Experian

Experian South Africa is a branch of the global Experian Corporation, which serves over 37 countries.

Even though Experian is not an African company, it is still the second-largest credit bureau in South Africa.

You can request a free yearly credit report from Experian.

Compuscan

Compuscan was founded in 1994 and is headquartered in South Africa.

Compuscan also serves nearby Botswana, Namibia, and Uganda.

You can request a free yearly credit report from Compuscan through their My Credit Check portal.

Xpert Decision Systems (XDS)

XDS is South Africa’s largest locally owned credit bureau. While it is the smallest of the main four credit bureaus, it is growing rapidly.

XDS is 100% independently black-owned and devoted to empowering its members.

You can request your XDS free credit report through Credit4Life.

Other South African Credit Bureaus

Right now there are around 14 registered credit bureaus in South Africa. While the four above are the most important, here are just a few of the other credit bureaus:

Consumer Profile Bureau (CPB)

CPB is a South African credit bureau with international partnerships in over 180 countries.

Tenant Profile Network (TPN)

TPN specializes in compiling reports on prospective tenants for property owners.

Cred-IT Data Risk Management Solutions

Cred-IT Data is a registered credit bureau and collection agency for businesses and individuals.

Inoxico

Inoxico conducts in-depth investigations of businesses and individuals for credit risk assessments.

Monitoring Your Credit Reports

With around 86% of South Africans in debt, knowing the state of your credit reports is the first step toward fiscal responsibility.

You are entitled to a free yearly credit report from TransUnion, Experian, Compuscan, and XDS. You normally won’t need to worry about your reports from smaller credit bureaus when it comes to applying for credit.

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