Answer to a question from a reader

What can I do if I have been blacklisted?

The short answer

Approach the business you owe money to and try to negotiate a settlement. Then go into debt counselling.

The whole question

Dear Athalie

I need help to get a house but I'm blacklisted. How can I clear my name?

The long answer


Credit Report SA gives the following advice:

  1. Pay the debt. The easiest way is to approach the business that you owe money to and try to negotiate a settlement with them. Make it part of your agreement that they will write to the credit bureau after you have been able to pay it off, telling them your debt has been paid. The credit bureau will then delete the blacklisting.

  2. Go into debt counselling. Debt counselling and consolidation of your debt is a way of settling your debts over time if you aren’t able to pay them immediately. Be careful to check out the track record of a debt counselling company before you approach them. There are some bad companies that will take your money and not pay your debts. Once your debts have been consolidated, keep a close watch to make sure they’re being paid.  When you have paid off all your debt, ask your creditors to write a letter to the credit bureau telling them that you have paid your debt.

JusDraft says that according to the National Credit Act, all debt counsellors must be registered with the National Credit Regulator (NCR), and will have a registration number, which can be verified by contacting the NCR on 0860 627 627.

Debt counsellors are not legally allowed to pay creditors on your behalf once your debt has been restructured. They have to use a Payment Distribution Agency (PDA) that is registered with the NCR.

Your debt counsellor must be available and capable of assisting you with questions or issues that arise at any time during your period of debt counselling.

Credit Report SA says that you should approach the Credit Bureau Association if you feel you’ve been treated unfairly. These are their contact details:


Tel: 011 463 8218

Gawie le Roux Institute of Law says that your first step should be to understand why you were blacklisted.  He says you should get a credit report from a credit bureau to see which accounts or debts led to your blacklisting. You should then reach out to your creditors and negotiate realistic repayment plans or settlements. He says you should work hard to settle the agreed-upon amounts, and keep a careful note of all transactions and communications.

All the above seems like good advice. Try not to delay tackling the problem as it won’t go away on its own.

Wishing you the best,

Answered on Feb. 15, 2024, 10:21 p.m.

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