Debt doesn’t discriminate. You can be over-indebted at a young age or at retirement. It all depends on how you manage your debt. A misconception is that pensioners cannot be assisted by the debt counselling programme. However, your age is not a determining factor in accessing the help you need.
How does debt counselling work for pensioners?
To qualify for debt counselling, you must have proof of income and be over-indebted. If you’re a pensioner, you need to provide the debt counsellor with your pension letter as proof that there are funds coming your way at the end of each month.
The debt counsellor will determine if you are over-indebted by weighing your debt and expenses against your income. If they find that you’re over-indebted, the debt counsellor will then calculate the instalments you can afford towards your debt, and propose these instalments to your creditors. If your creditors approve, they will receive an agreed amount for the duration of your debt counselling programme. This could take up to five years, depending on the amount of your debt.
The debt counsellor will consolidate your debt, allowing you to pay one reduced monthly instalment. They will also negotiate lower interest rates for you, so your debt doesn’t accumulate. At DebtBusters, we can lower your interest rate to as little as 3%, depending on negotiation with the creditors.
What you should remember
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Debt counselling is not free. The fees that you pay for debt counselling are standard rates that are set by the National Credit Regulator.
READ MORE: NCR agrees to proposed charge guidelines.
Irrespective of your age, if you see that you’re not coping with your debt, your best course of action is to consult a debt counsellor. Don’t wait for your creditors to issue warnings or take action against you, because then it might be too late and it may not be possible to help you.
Debt counselling gives you an opportunity to enjoy your retirement debt-free. It’s advisable that before you retire you settle all your debts and spend the remaining years of your life doing the things you enjoy the most.
You’re never too old to turn your life around. DebtBusters has helped many pensioners wipe their slate clean, including Mr Abrahams, a 91-year-old who started his journey to a debt-free life at the age of 88.