South Africans are a strong people. From a young age, we learn to deal with an array of issues that affect our daily lives. These range from socio-economic to political and often have serious implications for the average South African. When we look at our pool of consumers there is one issue that has been hovering around for a long time and seems to be growing at fast rate, namely the consumer debt problem.
Debt comes in many shapes and forms and has extensive uses. The issue comes not from the consumer that is using debt to buy assets that will increase in value or to invest in his/her growing business, but rather the consumer that is using some form of debt to feed their family or using debt to fund a frivolous lifestyle. It is easy to think that “it will never happen to me”, but with one in three South African consumers having defaulted on one or more of their debt obligations, the probability is a lot higher than you would think.
In the latest stats released by Experian in their new Experian Consumer Default Index, it states that debt repayments missed were over R13 billion in July.
eNCA commented on this earlier in the month:
“South Africans are struggling to keep their head above water as tough economic times continue. This can be seen by the number of people defaulting on their accounts, according to the newly-launched Experian Consumer Default Index. Around R13.6-billion worth of consumer accounts were not paid in time this July.”
These figures do not paint a pretty picture for consumers with debt and show that it is becoming increasingly difficult to manage both living expenses and debt repayments without running into some trouble. Vantage recommends that consumers approach a debt management specialist, such as a debt counsellor, to assist them when they start feeling the pressure of debt repayments.
Make sure that the debt counsellor is registered with the National Credit Regulator (NCR) and that they use process and systems such as the Debt Counsellors Rule Set (DCRS) as well as a Payment Distribution Agent (PDA).
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