Do you feel like debt is beginning to take control of your life? Do you spend your entire salary on paying accounts, leaving nothing for the rest of the month? Do you struggle to pay off one or more of your accounts? If so, this is a good time to start looking for help - and we may be able to assist.
We can help you take control of your debt and manage your finances better. Working together with you, we will review your financial situation and provide possible solutions to help you take back control of your finances.
Remember: the sooner you act, the better.
What do you need help with?
Our financial advice
Take control of your finances now! If you are able to reduce your spending, you may be able to have more money available at the end of each month. Whether you actually decide to sell your house, pay off your debt quicker or reduce the amount of actual spending each month, we have the information and financial options to set you on the right path.
If your debt is beginning to take control of your life, speak to us first. We have the ability to provide advice on how to effectively manage your debt, and take back control of your finances.
Get debt counselling
Consumers are advised to seek help during these tough economic times, instead of rushing to apply for more credit in order to pay off their debts.
Debt counselling is a process intended to assist over-indebted consumers struggling with debt repayments, through budget advice, negotiations with credit providers for reduced payments and restructuring of debts. Debt counselling services can only be offered by an NCR registered debt counsellor.
Each stage of the process has prescribed time frames that all parties have to adhere to. Within this period, credit providers cannot issue letters of demand, summonses or enforce legal steps as the consumer will be protected.
It is important to approach a debt counsellor before legal action is taken, as credit agreements where legal steps have already commenced (Section 130 summons issued) will be excluded from the debt counselling process.
In order to apply for debt counselling, the consumer must have disposable income to enable offer for reduced payments. And should the consumer be married in community of property, both parties will have to apply for debt counselling.
Debt counselling pros:
- Credit providers can no longer attach any assets or take any further legal action against the credit agreements that have been included under debt counselling, as long as the consumer meets the new repayment terms.
- Debt repayments can be made through one regular monthly payment, which is distributed by a payment distribution agent.
- Debt counsellors will be able to provide invaluable advice on ways to cut your monthly costs, and structure your repayment in the best way in order to assist you in financial rehabilitation.
Debt counselling cons:
- While under debt counselling, a consumer is no longer able to enter into any new credit agreements. Access to credit facilities on a credit card or cheque account will be restricted.
- A debt counselling consumer is unable to withdraw from debt counselling once they have been confirmed as over-indebted, without the issuance of a court order stipulating the consumer’s rehabilitation and rescindment of all ordered concessions. Alternatively all short term credit agreements must have been settled as per the court or tribunal order before a clearance certificate can be issued and the consumer can be withdrawn from debt counselling.
The National Credit Act, which requires all financial institutions and lenders to register as credit providers, came into effect on 1 June 2007.
This Act aims to protect you by regulating our country’s credit-granting practices so that you can benefit from a credit environment that is transparent, fair and responsible. Money can either restrict you because of debt weighing you down, or money can ease your mind and set you free to live your life as you choose. The money you work so hard for, can work even harder for you when you understand and manage it well. Absa looks forward to partnering with you in this rewarding journey.
What is the National Credit Act?
The National Credit Act (NCA) protects your rights as a consumer by regulating the granting of loans or credit.
In short, it makes responsible lending a shared responsibility between you and your credit provider.
By making your credit or loan applications transparent, fair and easy to understand, it gives you the knowledge and power to manage your debt effectively and pay it back comfortably.
The Act reminds you that you have both the right and responsibility to understand and question how your credit agreements are structured, what payments you will be required to make, and what the terms and conditions involve.
Which credit agreements are regulated by the Act?
- Mortgages (Bonds)
- Credit cards
- Vehicle finance
- Any other personal finance
- Furniture finance
- Clothing accounts
- Other categories:
- Micro-loans and pawn transactions
- Any other type of credit or loan provided to you
For more information visit http://www.ncr.org.za/
The National Credit Act ensures that:
- You are not discriminated against when you look for credit.
- You will be getting all the information you need on credit agreements in the official language of your choice.
- You understand all the terms used.
- You understand all fees, costs, interest rates, the total instalment and any other details.
- You are offered the best products for your needs and the most responsible lending options.
- Your interest rate is reasonable.
- You can speak to a debt counsellor should you experience difficulty with your repayments.
- You can say no to increases on your credit limit.
- You decide whether or not you want to hear about products or services from credit suppliers via telephone, SMS, mail or email campaigns.
What can you do to borrow affordably and wisely?
The following must be disclosed by the bank:
- Avoid buying goods on credit just because you can. Make sure that you really need them and that you can afford to pay for it over the long term.
- Always pay off your monthly instalments on or before the due date to keep interest rates to the minimum and maintain a good credit record.
- Always pay off the loan with the highest interest rate first. This helps you to save on interest payments in the long run.
- Only apply for credit from a registered credit provider, such as Absa.
- Give the credit provider all the information they ask for to help them understand how much credit you can comfortably afford to pay back.
- Avoid turning short-term debt (like credit cards) into long-term debt (such as your home loan) simply to increase your cash flow now. You don’t want to repay last month’s grocery bill over the period of your home loan, as you pay more interest over a longer period of time.
- Live within your means by not spending more than you earn.
- Find out what your credit rating is and update your information regularly
What is Absa’s language statement of intent?
The National Credit Act provides that a customer has the right to receive documents in plain and understandable language. The National Credit Regulator has approved for Absa to make these documents available in English and Afrikaans, but should a customer require assistance in another official language, this can be reviewed.
If you find yourself under debt review, our Solutions account has been designed to help you manage your finances better, especially your everyday banking.