Thursday, 15 August 2013

Tips to help consumers who are experiencing financial difficulties

Create a budget-write down everything you spend money on, then analyse all your bank accounts and make changes where necessary, meaning take out all unnecessary expenses. By doing this you will probably save a few rands which you can use to pay debt and save.
Stick within your means; don’t spend what you don’t have as credit costs money.
Do not cancel your short term insurance cover: if something happens to the car you may be faced with higher costs than if insured.
Should you be retrenched, inform your creditors and use your retrenchment package to settle your debts. You have the right to settle your debts earlier. Note that there is a difference between the outstanding amount and the settlement amount. Contact your credit providers and get the settlement amount. This is what you should pay.
Try and save monthly. Avoid keeping money in non-interest earning or low interest earning accounts. Shop around for different options.
You have the right to one free credit report annually from registered credit bureaux, utilise this right and know your status.
Your credit profile can affect your ability to secure certain jobs (especially those related to finance) so keep a clean record at all times.
You have a right to receive assistance when you are over-indebted. Contact your credit provider to discuss your situation and negotiate an affordable repayment plan; if you cannot reach an agreement with your credit provider, you may contact a registered debt counsellor to assist you. Note that when you are under debt counselling you will not be able to get further credit until you have settled all your debts.
 Avoid getting more debt, rather downgrade your lifestyle.

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