MANAGING YOUR MONEY
DON'T HIDE FROM DEBT GET COUNSELLING
A funny radio advert is on air. It is about a man who gets a call from a call-centre demanding payment for an instalment he didn't pay. When he hears the call is about the money he owes, he pretends his phone is on voicemail and asks the caller to leave a message.
Many people, like this man, are so deep in debt that they cannot repay. They are too scared to answer their phones or open their mail. But there is no need to hide or panic.
With the new National Credit Act, you don't have to be harassed and frightened by call centre agents. You can get out of debt.
The National Credit Regulator (NCR) has started a debt counselling service for people who have fallen so deep into the debt trap that they don't know how to get out. Debt counselling includes education on how to manage your money and how to get out of debt.
NCR Debt Counselling Project says the first step is to talk to someone at the finance department of the credit giver's head office. You can explain your situation and arrange to pay off small amounts.
Do not be forced to agree to pay what you cannot afford. Also, do not try to impress by promising to pay what you don't have. Tell them what you can afford and stick to the arrangement.
People should always read letters from their credit givers. Credit givers cannot threaten to take your goods or blacklist you before sending you a Section 129 letter, which is a final notice.
This letter can only be sent to you after you have not paid your instalments for three months. Credit givers can only take legal action against you after the final notice has been sent, says NCR.
If you are so deep in debt that you cannot stick to the arrangements you have made, the final option is to contact a debt counsellor and apply for a debt review.
- Ndivhuwo Khangale
* Read more about debt counselling in the next issue of Vuk'uzenzele.
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