So, you’ve been blacklisted. What now?
People use the term blacklisted for a number of situations but no matter what definition you put to being blacklisted, it is not pleasant. It will make getting credit extremely difficult and will have other negative consequences as well. It will make renting property difficult, may cause difficulties in getting your child into some schools and could even prevent you from getting a job with many companies. You will not be able to get a credit card or a loan from most institutions and even store cards will be hard to come by. A cell phone contract is probably out of the question.
So, what do you do if you are blacklisted? First, let’s look at what most people call being blacklisted.
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Credit bureaus keep a history of your payment behavior, good and bad. When there are problems, there are three main types of negative data that they will keep:
- Account arrears, when you are slow to pay
- A default, if your payment is outstanding for a long period (generally six months or more)
- A judgment, when the credit grantor has taken action against you n in the High Court.
All of these are bad but obviously, a judgment is the worst thing to have on your credit report. A judgment and default can be removed from your record. But only if you settle your debt and provide proof to the credit bureaus.
If you are in arrears, you can talk to the credit providers and try and come to an arrangement to pay off the outstanding money.
The first step is to be aware of your credit status. Everyone is entitled to one free credit report every 12 months so take advantage of this. Occasionally there are errors which you can address. Either way, being informed will allow you to do something about your situation.
Assess the situation, talk to the people you owe money to and start the process of settling the debts. It will take some time to repair your credit record but the effort is worth it. The sooner you start, the sooner you can make improvements. The defaults and judgments will not simply go away and you need to make every effort to settle the money that is owed.
Fortunately, a judgment is not the end of the world and with time and effort, you can overcome it. Be informed and do what is necessary to improve your credit.