As South Africans adjust to living in a country in the midst of a technical recession, the National Credit Regulator (NCR) has urged the public to make use of debt counselling services.
In a statement released on Tuesday (11 September), the regulator called on more South Africans to make use of its registered debt counsellors.
“At times and for many reasons such as recession, change in circumstances and others, consumers find themselves in a debt trap and no longer able to pay their monthly debt repayments. Consumers who are in this situation should not hide, feel despondent or despair,” it said.
“There is a debt relief measure in terms of the National Credit Act (NCA), which could provide relief.”
The regulator, which is an agency of the Department of Trade and Industry, said there are several signs that point to an individual being over-indebted.
- A consumer who cannot repay his/her debts on time as agreed with credit providers;
- Taking out loans in order repay other loans;
- Using a credit card and/or overdraft facility to pay debts, buy food and other necessities;
- Skipping payments on some accounts in order to pay others;
- Starting to receive letters of demand and summonses from credit providers and/or lawyers; and
- Having judgments granted against them.
“If your income is not enough to pay for all your living expenses and all of your debts, chances are that you could be over-indebted,” said the manager for debt counselling at the NCR, Kedilatile Legodi.
“These are the signs that should immediately prompt one to seek assistance before it is too late. If you are experiencing any of the above signs, you should speak to your credit providers and negotiate for lower monthly repayments. However, if this process does not work, you can approach an NCR registered debt counsellor for assistance,” said Legodi.