Tshepo writes: I would to know what the next step is, after you have settled your debts, to improve your credit score – in other words, clear your credit record.
According to the office of the Credit Ombud, once the consumer has settled all the outstanding debt, a paid up letter should be given to him/her from all the credit providers. These paid up letters will then need to be submitted to each of the credit bureaus to update the records and then forward the consumer an updated report.
The bureaus each work with a different scoring method. You need to be aware however that while the credit will be shown as paid up and will be viewed positively by a potential creditor, the payment profiles are generally reflected on your report for two to five years so it will still show any history of non-payment and may still influence your credit score.
It will take a few years of consistently meeting your credit payments to truly “clean” your record.