The South African Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC) has warned consumers to be careful of false promises from Debt Counsellors who may be abusing their profession and the debt review process. Luke Hirst, MD of Debt experts DebtBusters, says ‘Yes, I agree that some debt counsellors are not offering clients the full information upfront and […]
8 February 2016
Margaret Jefferson, a 56-year-old Civil Servant, living in Pretoria was earning a net income of R18,656.25 per month and struggling to make his debt repayments. Unfortunately, Margaret had been faced with numerous unforeseen circumstances and suffered from various health problems. Not only does Margaret have diabetes, but she also has high blood pressure and depression, all of which she has to buy medication for each month. In addition to her monthly medical payments Margaret has had exorbitant medical bills to pay, due to being hospitalised and frequent doctor’s visits.
Due to exhausting her medical aid cover, Margaret has incurred medical costs that have not been covered by her insurance. Her husband was unemployed and in order to pay her medical bills she had to take out a loan from the bank. At the time, Margaret was also supporting her two children. Slowly Margaret had to borrow more and more payday loans from microlenders in order to pay off her existing debt repayments that she could no longer afford. Margaret fell into the debt spiral by taking out additional personal loans and payday loans on top of other credit agreements at increasing interest rates, instead of devising a suitable budget to correctly manage her money and debt.
Margaret had a debt obligation of R8,078.81 to pay on a monthly basis. Her salary after deductions (tax, UIF and Pension) came to R13,319.44. Her total monthly living expenses came to R9,960.08, this meant that Margaret only had R3,359.36 left towards her debt, leaving her short of R4,719.45 every month!
DebtBusters negotiated with Margaret’s credit providers in order to devise a new payment schedule for her debt repayments, as represented in the following table:
|Credit Providers||Original Annual Interest Rate||Monthly Debt Instalment Before Debt Counselling||New Agreed Annual Interest Rate||New Monthly Instalment|
|Personal loan 1||30.10%||R1858.48||5.69%||R1, 129.99|
|Personal loan 2||32.10%||R1, 560.61||4.83%||R682.18|
|Micro loan 1||31.00%||R641.50||5.79%||R236.64|
|Micro loan 2||32.10%||R647.88||5.92%||R227.31|
|Micro loan 3||60.00%||R1, 673.20||20%||R531.29|
|Micro loan 4||32.10%||R580.28||5.92%||R155.02|
|Micro loan 5||31.00%||R474.02||5.79%||R93.34|
|Retail Account 1||32.10%||R230.34||5.92%||R157.91|
|Credit card 1||22.65%||R412.50||4.85%||R139.31|
Before going under debt review, Margaret was paying a monthly debt instalment of R8,078.81. DebtBusters managed to solve all Margaret’s debt to an affordable amount of R3,052.99 per month. Over 60 months, DebtBusters saved Margaret R113,319.44 on interest charges and fees alone.
Margaret’s case is one that could have been prevented. It is essential that you keep healthy emotionally, mentally and physically. Eating the right quantities of food, eating healthy food and exercising regularly will ensure that you stay in good health. It is important that you manage your finances correctly, by always planning ahead (for emergencies) and saving. In the event of an unforeseen circumstance, you will be able to prevent yourself from accruing debt.