How Do I Find The Original Delinquency Date On My Credit Report?

By Tevait Feanle •  Updated: 05/05/24 •  5 min read

Delinquency is a common term used to show that you have debts or other financial obligations you are not meeting. If you are looking to rehabilitate your credit score and unlock further opportunities to apply successfully for credit, then knowing the original delinquency date of your debt can be a great help.

What is Delinquency?

Delinquency is simply a catch-all term applied to debt. It indicates the first date of late payments made on the debt or the first time at which your obligation to the lender was not made.

Why does this matter? Remember that, in South Africa, your credit report is compounded from all sorts of relevant financial data. Each of these has a specific timeline for how long they will remain on your report. Most types of credit data have a 1 or 2-year timeline, while some major events (like judgments and defaults) can linger from 5 to 7 years.

Knowing when the original delinquency date on your credit report is can be invaluable in working out when it will cease impacting your credit, how long it will continue to do so, and if there are any errors in reflecting its impact on your credit score.

How Do I Find The Original Delinquency Date On My Credit Report?

Now you know what the delinquency date for any specific financial item is, how do you find it on your credit report?

It will depend slightly on what the delinquency is. Monthly payments, for example, are reported each month and displayed clearly under the month for which they were due. So if your June credit card payment is received late, or you don’t make the full payment, you will see a delinquency mark for June in the payment history section. However, as these are rolling 30-day updates to your report, most creditors will also be able to see the immaculate payment history you’ve had since then and may be willing to consider that. The delinquency will fall off your report when it is replaced by fresh payment data.

For items that are defaulted, or sent to collections, the original delinquency date will be the date you first missed payment, even if the actual report to the bureau shows up later on. The date of original delinquency, abbreviated as DoFD, should be shown alongside the listed issue on the report itself. 

How Do I Get Old Delinquencies Off Of My Credit Report?

Thanks to this rolling reporting system we have in South Africa, your credit score is constantly refreshed by new incoming data, and you should see some movement on your credit score each month. Even if an old delinquency is still listed on your report and within its legal period to stay on your report, it will have less and less impact as fresher data rolls in. If it is positive, of course! 

However, sometimes the bureaus are slow or inaccurate in removing older items that should no longer show on your report. Remember that many items will only stay listed for 1 to 2 years, and even the worst types of credit issues- judgments and defaults- will only stay on the report for 5 years. This is governed by limits set by the Credit Providers Association, to which almost all South African lenders belong.

If you spot an older item (or even a fraudulent one) still impacting your credit report after it should have fallen away, you need to approach the bureau directly and lodge a dispute. Attach proofs, such as the date on which you settled the balance or made a payment arrangement, to the online form for disputes, and submit it. They have 20 working days to respond, and if you can prove the issue correctly, will typically find in your favor. If you are still not satisfied, you can appeal to the credit ombudsman for a final ruling on the matter. 

Can A Bank Remove A Delinquency From Your Credit Report?

It is important to remember that the banks, and other lenders, don’t create the credit reports themselves. They are created by the credit bureaus, based on data they receive from all lenders you have dealings with. So if you have an issue with your credit report you have to dispute it with the bureau, and not the original lender. 

However, most accounts that fall into delinquency will need to be settled directly with the lender, or the debt collection company they appoint to handle the issue. Debts don’t just magically disappear, even if we wish they would! Once that is done, they should report the issue as resolved to the bureaus, and thus you will see its impact on your credit report. In this way, then, you can say a bank can remove the delinquency from your credit report, albeit by an indirect route.

If you are disputing a delinquent amount that still shows on your credit report, bear in mind that the bureau will not just take your word for it. They will investigate the issue thoroughly, including contacting the lender to see what resolution was reached and if the agreement has been honored. 

Can I Get A Loan With A Delinquent Account?

You can get a loan with a delinquent account, but it will be harder. A good (or bad) credit score is not built from one mistake. It is perfectly possible to still have a great credit score with a few dud accounts. Many people, for example, are still recovering from job losses and other financial stress during the COVID pandemic, and lenders will take your more recent behavior into account when making their final decision. If you look like an overall good risk, with only limited issues, lenders may still take a chance on you.

A delinquent loan doesn’t exactly paint you as a good risk, however. Especially if it is among the freshest data on your report. Try to address these matters to improve your credit score, especially if you need to rehabilitate a poor one.