MONEY CLINIC | I entered into debt review a year ago and can't cope - what should I do?

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article

A reader looking for a temporary fix to his financial problems entered into debt review ill-informed and is now unable to exit until all his debts are paid. He looks to an expert on the next steps to take.

He writes:

I entered into debt review a year ago, and it was the worst decision.

The debt counsellor didn't inform me well at all. In my discussions with the company, I wanted a temporary solution while fixing my financial problems.

I then realised that I was in trouble with no way out when I managed to pay off two out of the four debts I had.

Now, the company will not remove me from debt review until I have completely paid off all my debts.

The interest rates are spiralling out of control. I can't get my kids into the best schools in town. I can't do anything, even though I am paying off my debts every month without fail. I am at a point where I am so depressed and I'm even considering stepping away from my debts completely and coming back after three years, once it's prescribed. Hopefully it will be cleared then. 

What would be the best solution for me?

Neil Roets, founder and CEO of Debt Rescue, responds:

When applying for debt review, it is important to understand that it is a process of reducing your monthly instalments to enable you to pay your necessary living expenses, while extending your repayment terms.

It is also to ensure that debt is repaid and to become debt-free in the end. The best advice would be to speak to your debt counsellor to see how you can settle your debts as quickly as possible.

Explain to them that your financial circumstances have changed and that you wish to pay more towards your debt, to enable you to pay the debt off as quickly as possible.

If you are to stop paying your debt, it will affect your credit score and possibly lead to legal action, which will have a negative effect in the long term.

If you are able to settle any of the debts, contact the credit provider and ask them if they give settlement discounts.

Questions may be edited for brevity and clarity.

  • Have a money problem that needs solving? Fin24 can help! Send your question to

Disclaimer: Fin24 cannot be held liable for any investment decisions made based on the advice given by independent financial service providers. Under the ECT Act and to the fullest extent possible under the applicable law, Fin24 disclaims all responsibility or liability for any damages whatsoever resulting from the use of this site in any manner.

Get the biggest business stories emailed to you every weekday.

Go to the Fin24 front page.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Company Snapshot
Voting Booth
In light of the recent looting, do you think a basic income grant is the right approach to deal with SA’s hunger and poverty problems?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
It will go a long way in helping fight the symptoms of SA’s entrenched inequality, especially for those who are starving right now
20% - 1421 votes
SA’s problems are complex, and we instead need to spend that money on building and growing our economy, which will help the country in the long run
31% - 2212 votes
All grants are a problem as they foster a reliance on handouts
49% - 3505 votes