February is National Debt Awareness Month and what better time to get more help with your financial wellbeing than now? Here’s how
Covid-19 has resulted in shrinking incomes, uncertainty about the future and the economy. This has made more and more people rely on unsecured debt. And although payment holidays provided some relief during the lockdown, when payments recommenced even people who had just been making ends meet found themselves struggling. Unfortunately, being financially burdened has now become the norm for many people. The risk of this is that rather than address the problem, people go into a state of denial and do nothing or become paralysed by anxiety. The good news is that South Africa’s debt counselling sector is world-class and well-positioned to provide support for people feeling vulnerable because of debt.
When you call a reputable debt counsellor registered with the National Credit Regulator, you’ll be dealing with a financial specialist. The first thing they’ll do is an assessment to see whether debt counselling is something that could help. This happens in a safe space with an expert who considers the situation empathetically but objectively. Reputable debt counsellors will support consumers for whom debt counselling is an option and who decide to go ahead with the process. They will intercede with the creditor and provide help and advice throughout the process. Importantly, they will also negotiate monthly debt repayment reductions, especially on unsecured debt such as personal loans and credit cards. This provides substantial savings on outstanding debts. If you’re feeling out of control or think you might be in financial trouble it’s always best to seek assistance sooner rather than later.
If you prefer to do a self-assessment, you can use online tools such as the one found here https://www.debtbusters-client.co.za/register
Visit DebtBusters for financial advice and help.
Words: Benay Sager, head of DebtBusters.