How to choose the best debt counsellor for you

3 July 2019

Entering the debt counselling process can be overwhelming. You may have questions about how this will affect your credit score, how long the process is, and how much this will cost you.

But if you’re partnered with a responsible and trusted debt counselling company you will be guaranteed peace of mind.

When selecting a debt counsellor, be sure to look out for the following to ensure that you’re making a decision that will fast-track you to financial wellness:

1. Must be well-informed and registered: Debt counsellors are required to be registered with the National Credit Regulator (NCR) and provide accurate and current information. Your debt counsellor should be able to answer any questions you may have about the process.

If you feel as though you are not being assisted and are left with more questions than answers, the chances are that you may need to seek a new debt counselling company.

To further ensure that your debt counsellor is in fact registered with the NCR, you may request the debt counsellor’s registration number which can be verified by the NCR.

2. Fees must be in line with the NCR: While debt counsellors can charge their own fees, they must be aligned with the fee structures as stipulated by the NCR. These fees can include the rejection fee, restructuring fee, application fee, after-care fee, and potential legal fees. Typically, all these costs are accounted for in your restructured payment amount, and it should be an affordable repayment amount for the consumer as stipulated by the NCR.

Your debt counsellor should be able to provide a breakdown of the fee structure should you require it – and answer your questions on the different types of fees.

3. Make use of a reputable payment agency: Debt counselling companies are legally not allowed to make payments to credit providers on your behalf once your debt has been restructured. Instead, they are required to make use of a Payment Distribution Agency (PDA), registered with the NCR.

4. Must protect your information: The relationship between you and your debt counsellor needs to be based on trust. This is because the process will require you to share confidential financial information. Your debt counsellor should, in turn, keep this information private and secure.

The debt counselling company should also have sufficient security measures that prevent its clients’ information from being accessed by external parties.

5. Must have a reputable industry footprint: Before signing up with a debt counselling company, do your homework. Look at the company’s website and what it has to offer, reviews they’ve received, or cross-check the company against its competition.

Remember, when in doubt – don’t sign up. If you find that the company is not up to scratch after your research and cross-checking it with the NCR, rather keep looking.

DebtBusters is a trusted and well-known debt counsellor that is purposed to eradicate the debt of over-indebted South Africans. We are the largest role-player in the debt counselling industry and have helped more than 70 000 consumers towards becoming debt-free.

If you want to find out more about the debt counselling process and how we can safely help you, contact DebtBusters on 086 999 0606 or email info@debtbusters.co.za