Blacklisted? How to Clear Your Name


Perhaps you missed a few loan repayments over the last couple of months, or lost your job and couldn’t pay your car or home instalments for a year.

If you find yourself in a situation where you cannot meet your debt repayments, don’t avoid your credit providers– this will only land you in trouble.

To you it may seem just a blip on the horizon, but credit providers will view your failure to make repayments very differently.

When you regularly default on your loan repayments or don’t pay them at all, your credit provider will pass that on to the credit bureaus and you may find yourself blacklisted.

What does it mean to be blacklisted?

Credit bureaus store information about credit consumers for future credit providers to check an individual’s risk profile before extending credit to them, or before making a decision about interest rates.

If you regularly default on loan payments you’ll probably be blacklisted. This means that credit providers won’t offer you any credit.

Depending on the severity of the situation, you can be blacklisted for anything from 3 to 10 years.

For how long will I be blacklisted?

This depends on your financial situation. If you’ve just been sloppy with making your payments, or lost your job and couldn’t pay for a couple of months you’ll be looking at around 3 years before you can access credit again.

If you’ve had a civil court judgement against you, or a rehabilitation order you could be looking at around 5 years.

In the case of sequestrations, which means your property has been seized in order to pay your credit, the blacklisting could last around 10 years.

If you had to file for liquidation, which means declaring bankruptcy, the blacklisting can be indefinite.

I can’t pay my debts – how do I avoid being blacklisted?

Credit providers do not want to blacklist you. It’s in their best interest to reach a negotiation with their clients through which your loan and interest will eventually be paid.

If you find yourself in a situation where you cannot meet your loan repayments, don’t avoid your credit providers– this will only land you in trouble.

Rather face the problem head on. Go and see your loan provider, explain your situation openly and honestly.

It is in the credit provider’s best interest to work with you to find a solution.

Perhaps you can ask for an amnesty period while you are looking for a new job in case of unemployment. Or you can negotiate lower monthly premiums paid back over a longer period of time.

If you communicate honestly with your credit provider you will avoid being blacklisted and maintain financial control.

I’ve already been blacklisted – what can I do?

If you feel you have been unfairly blacklisted you can take your case to the Credit Information Ombudsman (

If you could not make your repayments because of circumstances beyond your control, such as losing your job or falling ill, you may be able to clear the blacklisting from your name.

You will have to prove your case by providing proof, such as documents showing your previous employment, dates of when you lost your job and evidence of your employment situation since losing your job.

If you have been blacklisted the best thing to do is to focus on getting your financial house in order.

  • First pay off your outstanding debt in full – don’t add more debt during this process.
  • Once you’ve paid your debt begin a savings plan to help you avoid the debt trap in future.
  • If you’re blacklisted, you’re not alone. As a nation, we are over-indebted and credit impaired.
  • Know that blacklisting isn’t a life sentence. 
  • Check your credit record by signing up to moneysmart.
  • If you’re blacklisted, or on the way to becoming blacklisted, take necessary steps to spend responsibly so your loan repayments become first priority.
  • For guidance with paying off your debt, moneysmart offers a monthly financial education programme, called the Debt-Defying Action Plan, which is filled with expert tips, tools and advice to help you pay off your debts faster and improve your credit rating.

Start Improving Your Credit Rating Today


About Author

Natalie Simon is a freelance writer and journalism student. She holds an Honours degree in Political Studies from Wits University and UCT. She writes for a wide variety of websites, on topics as varied as financial management and animal conservation.

  • vigil

    i am under admin but still pay my bills and some are still coming out this is now for 6years now

    • Hi Vigil, Thanks for the comment…

      With admin orders, your administrator will advise you how much you are to pay monthly. This amount is paid to your administrator, who will then distribute the funds to your creditors.

      An admin order will remain on your credit profile for a period of 10 years. You can however apply to have it rescinded, however it is usually best to do this only once your debts are settled, or if you are in a financial position to settle all of your debts without the assistance of the administrator.

      Whilst under administration, you are protected against creditors applying for judgment or listing defaults against you.

      • vigil

        yes i do understand yet keystone which was my administrator tricked me and now i am dealing with my creditors as they come. i did manage to solve one and at the present moment i am dealing with another two paying them the amount of R300 each per month there is still more that will come.what i need from you guys is to advise me what i can do regarding this administrator?

        • Hi,

          Unfortunately it is always difficult in a situation where your administrator does not act in good faith.

          One of the duties of the credit ombudsman is to deal with administrators who do not act as they should. Have you contacted the credit ombudsman?

          Unfortunately, you will still liable to your creditors for the debts, and it is best to try settle these or at least make payment arrangements.

          You can apply for the admin order to be rescinded, and have the option of going under debt review with a reputable company, where they can arrange monthly payment arrangements.

          Please note that moneysmart is not a financial advisory service and doesn’t provide direct advice.. We therefore cannot be held liable for any outcomes based on actions taken as a result of this information.

          If you would like us to put you in contact with a reputable service that could assist you please email with details of your case.

          Hope this helps

          Good luck

          • vigil

            yes i did contact the ombudsman

  • sharad

    Does a judgement after 5 years fall away …

    • Hi Sharad,

      Thanks for posting your comment.. Please note that judgment listings remain on a consumer’s credit profile for a period of 5 years from the date that the judgment was granted.

      However, it’s very important to understand that if a consumer does not pay the judgment debt, even if the listing period has prescribed, the judgment itself does not prescribe for a period of 30 years from date of it having been granted. Ie the creditor has 30 years to try collect the debt from the date of judgment, even if the listing is no longer on the consumers profile.

      Creditors therefore have the option to send the sheriff of the court to attach the consumer’s movables to cover the debt owing.

      Hope this helps.

      • eric

        hi gays I am eric I blacklisted and I have done my payment since 2013 now I am stll blacklisted so I do no wat to do

        • Hi Eric,

          Thanks for the comment. The length of time that you will be blacklisted depends on your personal financial situation. Depending on the severity of your case, you may be blacklisted for several years before being allowed to access credit again.
          We will contact you in private to try assist you further.
          Good Luck!

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