Easy credit, hard life

A Fin24 user writes:

While I was still a student at one of the tertiary institutions in 2001, I opened a Truworths International [JSE:TRU] account. I failed to pay and I think I was blacklisted.

I was employed by Edgars and opened an account with them in 2005. As I was a casual worker, we were told that there was no job for us any more and were told to stay home they will call us when there was a need. I failed to pay Edgars and was blacklisted again.

I got a job with my current employer in April 2009 and had to help my mom and sisters find a place to live; we were staying at my granny’s place all the time.

So, I had to get furniture on credit. Knowing I was blacklisted twice, I went to Lubners (currently Bears) and applied to buy some things on credit. Lubners did not disappoint and granted me R15 000 credit to take anything I wanted. My salary was R4 100 when I applied for credit at Lubners.

I took a refrigerator, stove and kitchen unit. My monthly instalment was R989 for 36 months. I was not paying rent in those days and my work place was a walking distance.

I was able to pay my instalment, buy my groceries and managed to give my mom and sister money for groceries.

Capitec Bank Holdings [JSE:CPI] bank phoned me one day and told me I qualify for a loan at their bank, and that I should come and get a loan. I do not know how they got my number.

I am business minded. Upon receiving that tempting news, I decided to buy a snooker table and place it at one of the shops at home. I was thinking the snooker will make enough money for my family to live on so I could stop sending them money.

I went to Capitec to get a R10 000 loan but no, I came out of the Capitec bank doors with a R16 000 loan in my bank account - the maximum I could get. The person who was helping me convinced me to take the maximum amount, though I told her I need only R10 000. My monthly instalment was R1 100 for 24 months.

It was the beginning of far worse to come.

The money was in my bank account. Not metres away I got into Wimpy and bought breakfast. This was not the money I expected. I went home to speak to one of the shop owners. To my surprise he told me he had plans to buy a snooker table, so could not allow me to bring my own to his shop.

Days went by with the money in my account. Withdrawing little by little, the money was going down and down. I could go places looking where I could locate my snooker, the table I was yet to buy. I could eat anything I wanted while searching for the place.

The Foschini Group Limited [JSE:TFG] sent me an sms saying I qualify for an account with them, so I should go to any Total Sport store and activate my account there. I do not know how they got my number.

I went to the store in Dobsonville (Soweto) and was told I should take anything to the value of R600, then they would activate my account.

Already I was paying R989 (Lubners), R1 100 (Capitec), R100 (phone contract) and R150 (Total Sport account). Including the R700 that I give to my family, I was left with about R1 000.

It happened that I lost the free place I was staying at and had to start paying rent. The loan money was finished already.

How? I cannot tell. I do not know exactly but it was finished. I stopped paying all my accounts. I think it has now been more than 18 months since I made any payments in any of my accounts.

There is only one financial institution I did not mention above that garnished me, and they are still taking from my salary.

I want to start a business but I don’t have money to finance it and I cannot get finance from anyone now. Do you have any advice?

The struggle still continues.

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