Debt specialists pan Pick ‘n Pay’s credit initiative

PRETORIA – Debt counsellors have slammed Pick ‘n Pay’s new initiative offering food on credit.

The retailer has joined Woolworths and Massmart in offering credit facilities through in-store cards.

But debt specialists have questioned the timing of the launch so close to Christmas, saying already indebted consumers will pay the cost in the end.

If you quality for a store card with Pick ‘n Pay, you’ll be able to buy food for up to R40,000, depending on your credit rating, and you’ll have 55 days within which to pay it off.

The monthly service fee is ten rand. But, if you don’t settle your bill on time, it will cost you an additional 21 percent interest per year.

Debt Rescue’s Neil Roets said, “The wrong message is sent to the public. If a big retailer like PnP tells people it’s ok to take credit to buy food, we are not sending the right message to a country where people are suffering financially. There are so many people who are over-indebted. Something like this can only make things worst.’

A call has been made for retailers to be more circumspect when offering credit deals during these trying economic times. Customers are also urged to be more savvy about financial literacy issues.

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