Contrary to the stigma that consumers are indebted as a result of reckless spending or borrowing, most consumers who approach DebtBusters for assistance do so as a result of unforeseen circumstances. Many young people set huge expectations for themselves even before they’ve entered the ‘real world’. There is often a set idea of what success looks like that has been deeply entrenched during the teenage years, and the goal is to achieve this success as quickly as possible. They hope to land their dream job, fulfil personal and financial goals such as owning a car and a home, and providing for a family one day. However, more often than not, life’s uncertainties and curveballs are thrown at us and things do not always go according to plan. This was the case for 28-year-old Thandeka* (name changed to protect her identity), who felt the financial pressure after experiencing a break up with her partner, as well as starting a new job in a more expensive area. After Thandeka’s* break up and accepting a new career opportunity, she found herself in an arduous financial situation. Her rent had increased and her petrol consumption was higher. It became clear that it was not possible to adapt to her new lifestyle with a single cash injection after having created a life based on a dual income. Thandeka* approached DebtBusters to apply for debt counselling, and the initial assessment showed that her changes in circumstance, as well as her increased expenses, led to her being over-indebted. This outcome made her a fitting candidate for the process. Thandeka* says that the debt counselling process has made life much easier for her, as it has freed up cash flow allowing her to afford her monthly living expenses, as well as ensuring that her debt obligations are met and that she is on the right track to becoming debt-free. As part of an incentive campaign launched earlier this year, DebtBusters recently awarded Thandeka*, who was randomly drawn from a pool of qualifying clients, R50 000 off her total outstanding debt. The R50 000 will be used to settle both Thandeka’s* retail accounts, and the remaining balance will go towards her vehicle loan. Having Thandeka’s* vehicle loan under the debt counselling agreement also means that her vehicle is legally protected throughout the process, and she will be able to get from A to B without worrying about her vehicle being repossessed. With the injection of the R50 000 towards her debt, Thandeka* will shorten her debt counselling journey significantly, her vehicle will be paid up, and she will be able to start financially afresh and focus on her goals and aspirations. Thandeka* aims to save as much money as she can towards advancing her career and securing her first home with a substantial deposit. She also mentioned that she doesn’t see herself taking out any further credit in the future unless it is to purchase a house. Over-indebtedness can creep up on any consumer, and when an unexpected life event arises, our financial obligations often remain the same or can even increase. It is important for consumers to be aware that these situations can happen to anyone, and that seeking the right professional help, such as debt counselling, can be the answer if you’re committed to the end result – a Financially Free Future.
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