/ 10 January 2011

‘Sinking into debt? Act now!’

My monthly credit statement arrived in the post along with a pamphlet issued by the National Credit Regulator, the Banking Association of South Africa and the Debt Counsellors’ Association of South Africa — “Sinking into debt? Act now!”

My credit card is not in debt, but I can appreciate that this pamphlet will be a call to action for a lot of people and sending it out at this time of year is probably a smart idea. These four tips distil the pamphlet’s message:

  • If you’re only just managing your debt repayments, talk to your bank to find ways to keep your credit record clean.
  • If you’ve fallen behind on your payments, act now to restore your credit record and avoid legal action — call 086 111 6362 or SMS your bank’s name to 32422 for your bank’s contact details. You can also visit i or finhelp.mobi.
  • If you’re in debt counselling and making payments through a payment distribution agency, make sure you’re protected. Visit your debt counsellor and make sure your debt repayment plan will enable you to settle your debts within a reasonable period. Continue to make your monthly debt review payments through your payment distribution agent or you’ll run the risk of facing termination of the debt-counselling process. And that means legal action.
  • If you’re in debt counselling and you’re not paying, your debt counselling arrangement will be terminated and you’ll lose the protection of the National Credit Regulator and the National Credit Act. You’ll face legal action and will quite likely lose your house, car and other assets. So contact your debt counsellor immediately.

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