Do things differently this year

2016-12-21 06:01

THE festive season is upon us and like previous years, many people will fall into a debt trap by succumbing to the urge of spending money they don’t have.
This year, says Mpho Ramapala, Manager: Education & Communications National Credit Regulator (NCR) “we want to warn and educate consumers to be money-wise and different so that they can enjoy a happy new year”.
NCR’s credit bureau monitor states that there are 24.08 million credit active consumers, 14.41 million (59.8%) are in good standing and 9.67 million (40.2%) have impaired records which means three or more payments in arrears or which reflects a judgment or administration order.
Should consumers find that they are battling to pay their debts, Ramapala advises such consumers to contact their credit providers to negotiate lower repayments or to contact a debt counsellor for assis- tance.

Tips on spending wisely during and after the festive season:


• Do a budget for the festive season and include all debt, rent, electricity, water, insurance, transport, gifts, entertainment, etc;


• Request a pre-agreement statement and quotation when applying for credit. This will enable you to shop around and do a comparison on the cost of credit.


• Seek loans with NCR-registered credit providers only. Such credit providers will have a window decal (an orange sticker with the NCR logo) and a registration certificate that will also state the NCR credit provider registration number.

• Do not leave your identity documents, bank cards, PINS and Sassa cards with credit providers when applying for credit. This is a criminal offence. Report cases where your bank or Sassa cards and identity documents were taken by credit providers to your local police station.


• Be wary of “buy now, pay after three months deals” and then incurring additional credit during those three months.

• When going shopping, have a shopping list to avoid buying unnecessary items.


• Be proactive and double-up on your regular payments such as mortgage or rent, lights and water (arrange with your credit providers). That way you will be able to afford costs such as school fees and uniform which will hit you at the start of the new year.


• Entertain at home. Ask guests to bring something for the meal so you share the costs of your festive entertainment.


• Each year, set up a separate fund for birthday and Christmas presents as well as holidays. Keeping this money separate will enable you to save for special occasions, while at the same time fund your day-to-day living expenses without going into debt.


• Use your bonus to reduce your debt burden by paying off existing loans.

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