You and Your Credit Record Did you know that Your Credit Record is Your Financial ID? Regularly view your credit record. Here are a couple of things everyone should know about their credit record. • You can request a credit report free of charge at least once a year from the three major credit bureaus.• [...]
Pick n Pay Loyalty Programme The Pick n Pay Loyalty Card that so many of us have become so familiar with has far exceeded all expectations. According to The Star Newspaper, Tuesday April 3rd 2012, Pick n Pay exceeded the expected number of Smart Shopper cardholders by as much as 2 million! This dynamic retail [...]
Find Out Which Bank Charges What in SA • Your banking needs differ to everyone else’s making your banking wishes and requirements unique.• Look for a bank that will charge you fees that will suit your individual specifications and requirements best.• Consider an account with a fixed monthly fee is you or your business performs more transactions than [...]
If You Immigrate Before Your Annuity Matures • The full fund value can be paid out if someone immigrates before the retirement annuity matures.• This is usually at the age of 55.• This could also be before the age of 55, all depending what the retirement annuity stipulates.• If no tax benefits have been received the first R22 [...]
You and Your Credit Record
Did you know that Your Credit Record is Your Financial ID?
Regularly view your credit record.
Here are a couple of things everyone should know about their credit record.
• You can request a credit report free of charge at least once a year from the three major credit bureaus.
• Always compare your credit report from the three major credit bureaus as this is the best way to pick up any mistakes that might have occurred on your report.
• It is important to keep on top of your game at all times as this is your financial ID.
• Your credit record will show how many loans you have and how much you owe on your loans.
• Your credit record will also show if you are a good payer or not.
• This information is important if you are looking to take out a loan, such as a loan for a car, a bond, credit card or accounts.
• There could also be problems on your credit record that you are not aware of, for example administrative errors, or even worse, identity fraud or theft.
So where are you able to obtain your credit report?
• The answer is easy. All you have to do is apply online.
• The credit bureau usually charges a small fee, but the National Credit Act insists that you can get your credit report for free once a year.
• The National Credit Regulator has a list of accredited credit bureaus easily obtainable on the website.
• If you did pay for your credit record, though, chances are you would not have to fork out more than R30.00.
• If you wish you could also subscribe to a service that will send you monthly credit reports and bring to your attention any discrepancies or any activity that is performed regarding your credit.
Not all credit bureaus will have the exact same information as they are usually in competition with each other, therefore it is advisable to get the relevant information from all three and compare the information.
Pick n Pay Loyalty Programme
The Pick n Pay Loyalty Card that so many of us have become so familiar with has far exceeded all expectations. According to The Star Newspaper, Tuesday April 3rd 2012, Pick n Pay exceeded the expected number of Smart Shopper cardholders by as much as 2 million!
This dynamic retail chain had predicted that in the first year the programme would reach about 3 million customers, but by yesterday the number had exceeded a whopping 5 million.
What and how does the Smart Shopper Card work? For every one rand spent cardholders earn 1 point. Once you have accumulated
1000 points it can be exchanged at any Pick n Pay store. Every 100 points earned add up to R1.00.
In exchange for the points Pick n Pay have asked their customers to use their information for research purposes.
The beauty about the programme is that the chain is now in a position to service the needs of their customers. The store is not going to be changing anything in the near future, but will continue offering promotions.
To date the retailer has invested R140 million in the loyalty card programme to boost sales.
The client base boasts having in the region of 8 million customers and performs in the region of about 50 million transactions a month, which is not something to be sneezed at.
The programme is said to have boosted the growth of Pick n Pay by 8.1%. The proof of the pudding is in the eating, and no doubt the financial results will indicate how the loyalty programme has affected recent growth of the retailer.
Have YOU got your Smart Shopper card?
Find Out Which Bank Charges What in SA
• Your banking needs differ to everyone else’s making your banking wishes and requirements unique.
• Look for a bank that will charge you fees that will suit your individual specifications and requirements best.
• Consider an account with a fixed monthly fee is you or your business performs more transactions than the average person or business.
• Changing banks is not difficult, and could benefit you if your bank charges are exorbitant.
Trade Union, Solidarity, compared costs of running personal banking accounts from various banking institutions.
• Absa charges the highest rates for their services.
• Standard Bank is a close second.
• Capitec charges the lowest rates; an average charge of R67, 35 is charged.
• Standard Bank charges an average of R133, 43.
• Nedbank’s average rates are R105, 04 and rose by 4, 3 % in 2011.
• The second least expensive bank is FNB which charges R73, 10 a month with an increase of 5, 1 % increase in 2011.
All these figures are rates charged in 2011, and could have had a price hike in 2012. It would therefore be advisable to contact the relevant banks to find out what is being charged at present this year.
If You Immigrate Before Your Annuity Matures
• The full fund value can be paid out if someone immigrates before the retirement annuity matures.
• This is usually at the age of 55.
• This could also be before the age of 55, all depending what the retirement annuity stipulates.
• If no tax benefits have been received the first R22 500 is tax-free; this is only in the instance where no retirement benefits have been received.
• The SARS Tax table will assist in spelling out the rules and regulations pertaining to the withdrawal of retirement annuities.
• The amount after tax which has been taken off forms part and parcel of the amount allowed in your foreign capital allowance, when you immigrate.
• Should the member not draw from the annuity before the maturity date, then a third of the fund’s cash value in cash at retirement age of 55 can be drawn, but is taxable.
• If retirement benefits have never been received by the member at retirement age, then retirement benefits for the first R315 000 will be tax-free.
• And if the balance is invested this will be taxed as per any monthly taxable income.
• If the retirement annuity was taken out only five years before immigrating, then the total taxed income can be paid out to the member in his or her new country.
• If the annuity was taken out less than five years prior to immigration, then only a portion of this can be paid out to the member.
• Every circumstance differs.
• One retirement annuity could easily differ from another.
Should you need to find out more about immigration and your retirement annuity visit the SARS website at www.gov.za to further your knowledge.
AN OMBUD FOR FINANCIAL SERVICES SECTOR
Back on the agenda is the Governments proposed “twin peaks” approach to regulating the financial services industry. The proposal is a single statutory ombuds office in line with the government’s policy document “A safer financial sector to service SA better”. It has been confirmed that this has been commissioned by the National Treasury. This is not the first time the government has considered creating such a body; it attempted to do so in 2003 and was met with dogged resistance by most of the financial services industry who wanted to retain the status quo.
Currently there are a number of dispute resolution structures in place, i.e.
• Pension Funds Adjudicator
• Ombud for financial service providers
• Credit ombud
• Ombudsmen for long-term and short-term insurance
• Ombudsman for banking services
Both the statutory and non-statutory dispute resolution offices are supposed to hand down decisions that are based on ethical considerations and not only the strict letter of the law. There is no evidence on the table to suggest that consumers would be better served by a single complaints structure. Cas Coovadia, managing director of the Banking Association says the industry is not in favour of a single statutory ombud’s office; they cannot fathom the rationale behind such a concept since the various ombuds have performed very well to the benefit of consumers and in promoting sustainable sectors. These voluntary ombuds are funded by the sectors, while a statutory single ombud would have to be funded from the fiscus which would be a waste of taxpayers’ money.
The government in its twin peaks policy document says “international best practice requires the financial sector to provide consumers with speedy and affordable redress when resolving disputes”. The paper also states that “the SA financial services sector is characterized by high and opaque fees and, in some cases, the unfair treatment of customers”.
Your Month by Month Planner
Let this be the year to sort out anything to do with money by using a month by month planner.
• At the beginning of any year, make this the perfect time to get your paperwork and finances organized.
• February is the end of the financial tax year; let this be the year you get all your taxes in order and ensure that you are getting all the benefits due to you.
• March is a good month to draw up an accurate budget.
• Essentials have to be paid first.
• Start saving this year.
• The best way to save is to organise a debit order that will take a fixed amount off your salary every month.
• Budget for luxury items only after the essentials are paid off.
• When drawing up a budget remember that spending more than you earn will only get you into hot water.
• Consolidate debts in April
• Take out a second bond or loan to consolidate your debts; this way you will only pay one lot of interest.
• Something that should be taken into account is that the interest rate of the loan or the bond to consolidate these debts should be lower than that of the debts you are consolidating.
• Revisit your long-term insurance.
• Revisit any and all investments you have; these include taking an in-depth look and ensuring that you will get the best returns on your investments.
• Update your will, and if you do have dependents this is of paramount importance.
• Your children will hopefully go onto university after they have completed school; if you have not provided for them in this regard, then taking a long and hard look at how this can be done is essential.
• Plan for the end of year festivities; take a long and hard look to see where you can cut a few corners on your budget in order to make provision for those extras.
October, November and December
• Prepare in advance for the shock of January after the long festive period.
With this savvy financial guide you won’t have any more sleepless nights.
Your children have grown and flown the coop, and have decided to settle and raise their families overseas, and you have to decide what to do with the rest of your time; do you follow your children, but what are the repercussions and how would that affect the nest egg you so carefully worked towards and put aside; all that hard-earned money for your golden years. For example, a retirement fund cannot be transferred to a fund in New Zealand. The funds have to be released here first, with taxes paid on these funds. All about Pension Funds in SA So, if a member decides to immigrate then what steps can that person take to overcome the situation? If the pension fund member would like to resign from the pension fund prior to retirement, and if the pension fund is agreeable, the money can be transferred to another fund or a preservation fund in SA without it being taxed.
Following Your Children Overseas Will Affect Your Pension Fund After Retiring
• Only one third of a person’s retirement fund is paid out in a lump sum when an individual retires.
• The balance has to be utilised for a monthly income, or a pension.
• The third that is paid out in cash is taxed by SARS.
• If the individual has never received any retirement reimbursements, then the first R315 000 won’t be taxed.
• The balance of the paid out amount will be taxed as any other monthly income would be.
• The remainder of the money that is invested is not allowed to be transferred to a new offshore fund.
• This is not permitted by SA law.
• This is also prohibited by many SA pension funds.
• The third that is paid in cash is first taxed before he can take it overseas.
• The balance will be paid out in the foreign country.
• This will form a portion of the total amount in foreign currency allowed for immigrants.
• The total amount is R4 million for single individuals.
• For families it amounts to R8 million.
• Take note that the income that is earned in SA from the rest of the investment will be paid out, without any limits, in the foreign country, but only once the amount has been taxed in SA.
Your children have grown and flown the coop, and have decided to settle and raise their families overseas, and you have to decide what to do with the rest of your time; do you follow your children, but what are the repercussions and how would that affect the nest egg you so carefully worked towards and put aside; all that hard-earned money for your golden years.
For example, a retirement fund cannot be transferred to a fund in New Zealand. The funds have to be released here first, with taxes paid on these funds.
All about Pension Funds in SA
So, if a member decides to immigrate then what steps can that person take to overcome the situation?
If the pension fund member would like to resign from the pension fund prior to retirement, and if the pension fund is agreeable, the money can be transferred to another fund or a preservation fund in SA without it being taxed.
When you apply for an Experian credit report you can have a choice of three different kinds of credit reports available to you, the consumer.
Who are Experian, you might ask yourself? Experian is a world-class efficient credit bureau and when it comes to offering the kind of information that you require, Experian will offer solutions to many credit questions.
Experian has credit history databases that offer scoring expertise as well as top of the range software applications that can quite easily offer solutions to much of South Africa’s credit world.
Your Standard Enquiry Report will furnish you with detailed information that will pertain to an individual, such as the person’s contact telephone numbers, address, income tax number and all information regarding their employment. On the Standard Experian report data such as any and all defaults, notarial bonds, judgments as well as an enquiry history can be found on the report. This Experian report is good for an in-depth look at an individual’s credit history.
Your Combo One Enquiry Report from Experian will include the exact same information that is given when applying for a Standard Enquiry Report with one exception, and that is that it will now include an ID verification that will ensure that the ID that is provided by a potential client will link to The Department of Home Affairs database.
Your Combo Two Enquiry that you will be able to obtain from Experian will include all the basic data that a Standard Enquiry Report will provide plus it will include ID authenticity, plus Detect, Delphi II, as well as all information that will include any contractible information.
For more on the three reports described above from Experian, or for an Experian report, you will now be in a position to glean this and any other credit information by contacting us today.
Getting a good credit report makes a big difference when you apply for credit. Perhaps you would like to replace your car, need a loan, credit card or you would like to apply for a bond. But before the banks will allow you any credit you will need to have a healthy credit report. The first step would be is to apply for your credit report, which can be done really easily online.
Get a comparison from the three main credit bureaus to see what your credit history and credit scores look like.
If you have been unfortunate enough to be blacklisted in the past, and need to improve on your credit ratings and scores this is achievable, contrary to common belief. You might not be aware of something small that went unpaid and you simply were not aware of this.
Getting good credit so as to get a healthy credit report is essential. If you do have a healthy credit report this will mean that you will have a high credit score, and the opposite applies should you have a low credit score.
There are definite ways and means in which you will be in a position to improve your credit ratings, and this will apply particularly if you have been unfortunate enough to be blacklisted.
Compare your credit report from the three major credit bureaus. This is an excellent way to find out if there any errors have been made on your reports or if there are any irregularities or discrepancies on your credit reports. Did you know that one out of five credit reports have errors that go undetected? Before applying for credit the mistakes have to be sorted out.
Get your credit report today if you are thinking of applying for more credit.
The Euro rallied against the U.S Dollar yesterday, as Slovakia finally passed the vote to extend the EFSF, while the single currency also gained against most of the majors, ahead of the G-20 meeting when finance ministers meet to discuss plans to tackle Europe’s debt crisis. The Euro is poised to record the first five-day gain in a month. The Euro bounced back from an earlier decline as Spain’s credit rating was cut by Standard & Poor’s to AA- with a negative outlook. The nation’s rating has been lowered by S&P three times since 2009, when the country lost its AAA status. Spain has a jobless rate as high as 21% and the threat of contagion to other high deficit nations will continue to have an impact.
So perhaps its time to transfer some money between these zones with no transfer fees.