Debt counselling to manage arrears

THE finance minister’s announcement that the fuel levy will be raised by 30c per litre to R2.85 per litre for petrol and R2.70 per litre for diesel, effective from April 6, will impact motorists and the economy.
That’s because most goods in South Africa are moved by road.
Neil Roets, the CEO of one of the largest debt management companies in South Africa, Debt Rescue, said budget increases were equitable, but the immediate future for consumers looked dismal.
He said consumers with heavy debt were going to feel the increase in the fuel price the worst.
Ratings agencies, including Fitch Ratings and Standard and Poor’s, warned South Africa’s bonds would be reduced to junk status if the economy was not better managed.
Should this happen, it would lead to an interest rate increase, which would impact on deeply indebted consumers.
“I’m not reassured by the minister’s budget speech that the economy will grow enough to prevent a downgrade.”
According to the latest statistics released by the National Credit Regulator, less than 50% of all credit- active consumers are over- indebted and in arrears by
three months or more.
Roets said it was important to draft a budget (taking into account your income, deductions, expenses and monthly debt repayments) and stick to it.
“As soon as you find yourself in a situation where your debt is overwhelming, seek help as soon as possible by contacting a debt counsellor,” said Roets.
“Your debt counsellor renegotiates your debt repayments, ensuring you are protected from new legal action.
“Credit providers have accepted that this is one of the best and most cost effective collection methods.” – Staff Reporter

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