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The habit of reckless lending from major credit providers is still prevalent. We’ve seen this in the recent headlines with a well-known commercial bank going to court due to its multi loan practices and with other major financial institutions in the recent years. The consumer is unfortunately always at risk in these situations.

If you want to be empowered, you need to know your rights when it comes to applying for credit. It’s wise to check your credit rating from a major credit bureau such as Experian who provide a free credit report and credit scores or TransUnion.

If you have a complaint about a recent credit problem, you may want to approach the Credit Information Ombud – a voluntary independent association who seek to resolve complaints from consumers and businesses that are negatively affected by credit information.

As South Africans, we find ourselves in a challenging economic landscape which indicates that we need to curb our spending habits, especially due to rising interest rates which increase debt servicing costs and higher inflation which reduces household cash flow.

Last year’s amendment to the National Credit Act (NCA), where credit providers were forced to adjust their affordability assessments linked to an applicant’s monthly income, helped tighten the regulation surrounding credit lending practices. Even though this has made a positive difference and has empowered consumers to an extent, the practice of reckless lending is unfortunately still evident.

The latest figures from the TransUnion SA Consumer Credit Index (CCI) reveal a sharp decline to 46.1 in the first quarter of 2016 from 54.1 from the same quarter the previous year. This is an indication that consumers are finding it harder to pay off their debts. The report took 56.9 million active consumer credit accounts into consideration, with findings showing one million of these accounts being in arrears.

If you’ve fallen into the debt trap, there are ways to recover from this and be more careful of approaching credit providers who are inaccurately assessing your ability to afford credit.

Take a few of these steps right now and start your journey to better financial health.

  • Don’t increase your debt     

Stop borrowing money or making purchases on credit.

  • Set out a new budget

To accelerate paying off your debt, cut down on expenses and create a new budget that will be devoid of any luxuries like eating out, buying new clothes, gadgets and spending money on entertainment.

  • Sell everything you don’t need

A great way to free up some cash quickly is to take stock of your belongings and sell the things you don’t really need. Use that money to further pay off your debt.

  • Partner with a debt consolidation company like Zero Debt 

We are here to help protect your assets, deal with your credit providers and take the financial pressure off you. Our debt consultants frequently deal with all the major credit providers and have a fantastic success rate when it comes to reducing our clients’ monthly debt repayments.

Speak to one of our NCR registered debt consultants today on 087 702 1738.

 

Debt consolidation enables you to only pay what you can afford. Instead of having to pay a number of different credit providers each payment period, a debt consolidation company like Zero Debt can assist you by combining all your existing outstanding loans and liabilities into a single more affordable monthly repayment at a lower interest rate. Such a solution will leave you feeling empowered because you will still have sufficient funds for your day to day living expenses and you won’t be forced to sacrifice the quality of your life.

Debt consolidation is a great way to save money and it’s important because people are often paying way too much interest on their debt. It’s also very beneficial to those who can’t seem to manage to pay their bills on time. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the multiple statements and payment dates when you’re over indebted. A consolidation loan takes all the outstanding debts and payments and transfers them all into one loan with only one payment date to keep in mind and one statement to read. If you’re ready to tackle your debt in a smart and healthy way, here are 4 steps you can follow:

  1. Identify your debt amount

It’s time to face those unopened statements and bills and distinguish between good and bad debt. A mortgage debt is usually considered as good debt as homes usually appreciate in value and the mortgage loan that you usually take out to pay for the home is an investment. When you use debt to finance things that can be consumed, you aren’t accumulating good debt.

An example of bad debt can be using your credit card debt to purchase everyday items like clothes and food or pay for a holiday. Calculate the total debt that you owe to family and creditors, work out which debt has the highest interest rate and find out how much you’re paying in interest on those debts. Clear up what you’re spending your money on and determine how much you need to pay it all off.

  1. Create a new budget

Determine how much you’ll actually need for day to day living, leisure, savings and to service your debt repayments. You will probably have to cut on some luxury items until you get your debt in order.

  1. Get your loan consolidated

Contact us and request a free debt assessment. We will endeavour to work with you and draw up a schedule of proposed repayments with your various creditors. This schedule will reflect a realistic amount that you can actually afford each month and ensure that you only land up paying the minimum amount which is required by your credit providers thereby reducing your monthly debt obligations.

  1. Stick to the plan

Debt consolidation only works to free you from debt if you stop overspending once you pay off your big debt amount.

You don’t need to hit rock bottom before you can start to rebound from your debt. Consolidating your debt is a great tool for opening doors to financial freedom.