MONEY CLINIC | I've received my debt clearance certificate but still can't get credit. What now?

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It is critical to choose a debt counsellor who is reputable, especially when it comes to ensuring that the clearance process is handled smoothly.
It is critical to choose a debt counsellor who is reputable, especially when it comes to ensuring that the clearance process is handled smoothly.

A frustrated Fin24 reader went into debt review and has since received a debt clearance certificate, but still cannot obtain credit. He writes: 

I went into debt review and paid all my accounts in full and then I received a clearance letter and the company that did it for me sent my paid up letters and all the necessary documents to the bureaus. But up until now - and it's been almost four months - I am not able to obtain any credit. I went to multiple retail stores and banks but was still unsuccessful. My question is, when will I be able to obtain credit?

Benay Sager, Chief Operating Officer at DebtBusters, responds:  

It is critical to choose a debt counsellor who is reputable, especially when it comes to ensuring that the clearance process is handled smoothly, and the consumer can get back into the lending market as soon as possible after getting a clearance certificate.

When a consumer has paid up all their accounts, paid up letters from the lenders are used by the debt counsellor to create a clearance certificate for the consumer. This clearance certificate and the paid up letters are meant to be sent by the debt counsellor to all the major credit bureaus.

In addition, the debt counsellor must update the consumer’s debt review status to “clearance” on NCR’s Debt Help System. We would advise the consumer to ensure the update with the bureaus and NCR’s Debt Help System has been done by the debt counsellor.

If both of these steps were done accurately, then consumer should no longer be listed as being under debt counselling and would be eligible to access new credit.

Compiled by Allison Jeftha. 

  • Questions may be edited for brevity and clarity.

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