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What Is The National Credit Regulator (NCR) And What Do They Do?

Gentlemen offering over his credit card to make a payment at a checkout counter.

What do you know about credit? If your answer is, “not much,” then this blog is for you. Here we will dig deeper into the role of South Africa’s National Credit Regulator (NCR). 


What is the National Credit Regulator? 

The National Credit Regulator’s mission is to support the social and economic growth of South Africa by regulating a non-discriminatory market for access to consumer credit, as well as encouraging
responsible credit usage and ensuring effective redress mechanisms.

The responsibilities of the National Credit Regulator

The National Credit Regulator (NCR) supervises the credit industry in South Africa and reports to the Minister of Trade and the Department of Economic Development. So consequently, it has a lot of responsibilities, such as:

  • Develop education campaigns;
  • Enforce the requirements of the act such as the NCA;
  • Develop policies and conduct research and report on it;
  • Examine complaints against debt counsellors, creditors, or credit bureaus. Complaints can range from irresponsible lending reporting to illegal practice awareness; 
  • Ensure that consumers’ rights are protected;
  • Make policy and legislation suggestions to parliament;
  • Ensure that the act is followed; and
  • Register industry participants such as debt counsellors, credit providers, credit bureaus, payment distribution agencies, and agents for alternative dispute resolution.


Departments within the NCR

Here is a quick overview of all the departments within the NCR, for more information, just follow each link represented below: 


Click here for more information 

Credit Bureau Compliance

Click here for more information

Credit Provider Compliance

Click here for more information

Debt Counselling

Click here for more information

Education and Communication

Click here for more information

Investigations and Enforcement

Click here for more information


Click here for more information

Statistics and Research

Click here for more information


The National Credit Regulator and Debt Counselling

According to
The National Government of South Africa: “The NCR’s mandate is to: promote and support the development of a fair, transparent, competitive, sustainable, responsible, efficient and effective consumer credit market, and to increase participation of historically disadvantaged persons, low-income persons and communities, and remote, isolated or low-density populations and communities in the consumer credit market; regulate the consumer credit industry by registering credit providers, credit bureaus and debt counsellors.” 


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The Mandate of the NCR’s Debt Counselling department

Over-indebted consumers struggling to pay their debts on a monthly basis can obtain debt counselling or debt review as part of the
National Credit Act (NCA), which is governed by the National Credit Regulator.

The NCR is accountable for the monitoring of compliance amongst Debt Counsellors, Credit Providers’ debt counselling departments and Payment Distribution Agents (PDAs) in accordance with the provisions set out in the National credit Act (NCA).

Here is how the NCR outlines the process:

When applying for debt review in South African, the consumer’s financial position is assessed by comparing the income of the consumer against the basic expenses and debt obligations of the consumer to determine the level of over-indebtedness and how to assist them.

In the event that the consumer is over-indebted, credit providers will be contacted for reduced payments and debt restructuring.

Finally, a court order or consent order must be obtained from the Magistrate Court or the National Consumer Tribunal (NCT) to confirm the restructuring of debts.

Who conducts debt counselling?

Debt counselling is provided by a debt counsellor, who is registered with the NCR. Upon registration, a  debt counsellor receives a registration certificate that should be displayed in the debt counsellor’s place of practice. When the certificate is not displayed, a consumer may request an inspection. 

Prior to the consumer signing the application for debt counselling, the debt counsellor must explain the debt counselling process and consequences of being under debt counselling.


Consumer rights set out by the NCR in the National Credit Act (NCA)

In terms of the NCA, as a consumer, you have the following rights:

  •   Requesting credit.
  •   Learning why your credit was declined.
  •   Obtaining information and documentation in the language of your choice.
  •   Obtaining information in a clear and simple manner.
  •   Receiving documentation according to your preferences.
  •   Receiving free receipt of statements.
  •   Requesting your free credit report each year from a registered Credit Bureau, and if there is evidence to dispute incorrect information, do so.
  •   Requesting a debt review, debt management, or counselling.
  •   Privacy. 


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Disclaimer: This website and any information herein is not intended to be, nor does it constitute, financial, tax, legal, investment, credit, or other advice. Before making any decision or taking any action regarding your finances, you should consult a qualified professional directly.

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