Debt Counselling

In the face of South Africa’s tight economy, characterized by high inflation, rising interest rates, and political instability banks have significantly tightened their lending criteria effectively closing the taps to consumers. This cautious approach is a response to growing concerns about bad debts and economic uncertainty making it increasingly difficult for individuals to access credit. As a result, many consumers find themselves turning to unverified lenders/loan sharks who further exacerbate financial instability and deepen economic inequalities across the country.

What Is A Loan Shark & How Do They Work?

A loan shark is an unregistered and unregulated entity or a person that loans money at extremely high interest rates often resorting to threats of violence to recover the amount and resort to seizing valuable assets. High interest rates surpass legal limits, often linked to organized crime networks. They operate outside of the realms of the National Credit Act and out of the view of the National Credit Regulator. 

Loan sharks can be found in local neighborhoods or on the internet and through personal networks. They typically operate with funds from unknown sources and work for personal businesses or unregistered entities. Furthermore, loan sharks do not require background checks or credit reports.

They provide small amounts of money with high interest rates and returns well above regulated rates. For example, borrowing R50,000 from a loan shark could lead to repaying over R100,000, or even more if not paid back on time. The amount typically includes high interest, late payment fees, and other unknown and illegal charges to consumers.

The State of South Africa’s Lending Environment

Many individuals lack access to formal banking services due to strict lending criteria, credit history, or geographic constraints. Furthermore, this gap creates a fertile ground for loan sharks who offer seemingly easy solutions to immediate financial problems.

How To Identify Loan Sharks

Identifying loan sharks in South Africa requires vigilance and caution. Watch out for offers that seem too good to be true like instant approval, high interest rates, or no documentation. Stick to reputable lenders registered with the NCR to avoid risky deals and protect yourself from debt and exploitation.

Tip: Make sure to check the NCR registration for anyone who has an enticing financial offer.

Examples of loan sharks with no NCR registration number;

May be an image of ‎money and ‎text that says '‎שוער BE STLOAN AO0 らンスーン ~100 PERSONAL LOAN R200.000 EVEN WITH BAD CREDIT Requestaloantoday Request a loan today >‎'‎‎

Impact On Consumers

Unverified loan sharks impose exorbitant rates and fees, trapping borrowers in a cycle of debt. These lenders often employ aggressive and illegal tactics to enforce repayment including threats, harassment, and even physical violence. Additionally, borrowers often get stuck in a debt cycle, borrowing repeatedly to repay previous loans, resulting in financial distress and a lower quality of life.

Preventive Measures To Consider Before Approaching A Loan Shark

Seek help from a debt counselor to negotiate with lenders and improve your credit score, freeing up funds to repay unverified lenders. Moreover, debt counselors can help reduce your payments by up to 70% with verified creditors, allowing you to focus on settling debts without fear.

At Vantage, we believe it’s our duty to guide our clients in understanding their financial situation so they can make well-informed decisions(Vantage Debt Management is registered with the National Credit Regulator – NCRDC2955/NCRDC2599.)

Let's get started with your free debt assessment

An experienced consultant will contact you to understand your financial situation. We can then recommend the best options to get you out of debt quickly and affordably. In addition, you will get a free credit report & financial health report.