Though the month of January is only half way through, debt counselling firms are reporting increased numbers of applications for help with debt review in January 2013 compared to January 2012.
This is no wonder as country wide indebtedness levels have grown. Consumers have struggled to curb spending and have rather turned to loaning money to maintain their lifestyle choices. As the “average” South African takes on more debt they bring themselves closer to financial disaster. Investec economist Annabel Bishop reports that the “average” SA household now has 31,8% more unsecured debt than a year ago.
Neil Roets, CEO of the debt counselling firm Debt Rescue says that this January there had been more than double the number of deeply indebted individuals applying for relief through the debt review process compared to last year.
The upside of increased applications (besides more work for Debt Counsellors) is that more consumers in debt review gives more power to Debt Counsellors as well as debt review consumers. Hopefully these increased applications will eventually reflect in better attitudes by creditors.