New Look NCR Debt Help System Working
The National Credit Regulator (NCR) has an online system where they require Debt Counsellors to capture information about their clients and people who apply to have their debt reviewed. It is called NCR Debt Help.
Now the system does not actually “help” in any way with debt but rather is a tracking portal for the NCR to see how many consumers are in need of help and what is happening with each person’s matter. As things progress with each person’s case, Debt Counsellors go online and change the tracking status online.
‘The National Credit Act requires all Debt Counsellors to notify credit bureaus when a consumer applies for debt review’
The National Credit Act requires all Debt Counsellors to notify credit bureaus when a consumer applies for debt review (regardless if the application is successful or not). There are around 13 different credit bureaus in South Africa which makes this quite a task. The NCR eventually decided to assist Debt Counsellors by linking their Debt Help system to the various credit bureaus (actually it used to just generate a Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet that got mailed to the bureaus with all the names in a single day and then the bureaus had to manually capture all that info – yawn. Which resulted in some interesting challenges as you can imagine). Thus Debt Counsellors could capture information once and then have the Debt Help system do all the hard work.
‘Over the years, the Debt Help system has repeatedly been a source of stress for many Counsellors’
Over the years, the Debt Help system has repeatedly been a source of stress for many Counsellors since it lacked a lot of functionality, was not user-friendly and had some serious “backend” problems. Many banks and consumers report that consumers who are under already debt review often don’t show as such on the credit bureau systems (so something didn’t work when the info was captured on the Debt Help system).
The Debt Help system recently received some much needed upgrading and a new look (and even a logo). It looks to be a whole new world, with loading animations and more. Users can even check on which consumers are being transferred to or from them and the status of such transfers (some DCs report finding a lot more still needing to be transferred than they thought).
Last week the NCR sent out a circular to Debt Counsellors asking them to make use of the updated system. There was a significant snag though when users tried to log on during last week only to find they couldn’t (some managed others just got SQL error messages) and this caused a lot of frustration. The NCR had their IT supplier working hard all weekend to sort out the problem and the system can now successfully be accessed.