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.

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Get financially fit

Allows us to provide you with possible solutions to help reduce the debt that you may have with us and other creditors, which should lead to greater financial freedom.

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Managing my debt

Are you generally left with more month than money? Making your money last until the end of the month can seem like an impossible task, but there are ways to reduce your debt and become financially fit.

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Debt counselling

A formal and closely managed debt solution, introduced by the NCA  in 2007. It allows for debt counsellors to assist over-indebted clients to honour monthly debt repayments and regain financial stability

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Absa Solutions account

A basic, cost-effective account that helps you manage your finance better. If you find yourself under debt review, our Solutions account has been designed to help you manage your finances better.

What do you need help with?

Our financial advice

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.

  • What can you do immediately?

    • Be committed to paying your monthly financial agreements, including credit cards, store cards, utility bills and any other financial obligations.
    • Only apply for any additional loans if you know you can afford to pay the monthly repayment amount that comes with the purchase.
    • Look out for sale items that you are certain you will use on a regular basis.
    • Track your financial standings by creating a monthly budget which details your monthly income and expenditure
    • Make use of your budget to identify areas where you can reduce spending and save. It is essential to stay in a debt-free positive territory.
    • Determine your net worth using the below calculation:
    • Total assets – Total liabilities = Net worth
    • Total assets: Combine all your money from your savings or cheque accounts, trust funds, property value, car value, stock value, etc.
    • Total liabilities: Combine all your debts such as home mortgage, credit card balance, etc
    • Your goal is to have a positive net worth value at all times and it should be increasing as time goes by.
  • What can you do in the short term?

    • Know your credit rating. You are entitled to one free credit check a year, so take advantage of this by contacting your credit bureau to check your credit status and financial reputation.
    • Review your bank statement and confirm that all debit orders are correct. If you find a suspect transaction contact your branch or the Absa Contact centre immediately.
    • Call your insurer and make sure that your car is insured for the correct book value. This should be done once a year.
    • It is easy to get multiple quotes for insurance, so shop around. If your profile has changed in any way – for example, you are older, married or haven’t been in an accident in the last year, this may influence the amount you pay for your insurance.
    • Speak to your cellphone provider about messaging bundles and reduced call rates, to save costs on monthly subscriptions.
    • Call your bank to make sure you have the best all-inclusive fee option on your accounts so that you pay one monthly fee and not for every transaction you make.
    • Consider consolidating your credit card debt and commit to pay off your account as soon as possible.
    • Consider reducing your credit card and overdraft limits to prevent you from spending more than your personal budget allows. Alternatively try to save in advance for the things you want.
    • Review the value-add services on all your accounts so that you know what that R3 or R4 is for on every one of your statements.
    • Contact your home loan provider to ask about fixing your home loan interest rate. This means that if the prime rate increases, your home loan instalment won’t increase unexpectedly.
  • What can you do in the medium term?

    • Pay the amount agreed to on each account on time and each month. Whenever possible, pay in a bit more on the card that charges the highest interest rate. List your cards according to amount owed, and pay off the smallest account first. Once that account is zeroed, you can use this money to pay off the next account even more quickly.
    • Pay extra into your home loan every month. Even an amount as small as R100 can have a significant impact on the amount of interest you will pay in the long term.
    • Always save at least three months' living expenses, should any unforeseen accident, loss of employment or emergency arise.
  • What can you do in the long term?

    Controlling your debt? Now focus on your financial future
    • Start investing any money you won’t need for at least seven years.
    • If you have children and want to invest in their future, ensure that you put money away for them to use to pay for university or a new car.
    • When investing in a home, buy a house that you can really afford, and over time it will increase in value. If you currently have a house with a bond you can’t afford, consider selling your house.
    • Lower your monthly repayments by applying to consolidate your debt with your home loan.
    • Invest in yourself and increase your earning power. Look at what people with your skills are earning in the market, and benchmark your earnings against this. Maybe it is time to apply for a new job or take a course to develop your skills. If you have spare time, find a part time job or arrange to work overtime if moving to a new job is not an option.

Debt Management

Debt Management

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.

  • The basics of managing debt

    Do you ever have debit orders returned or miss monthly payments?

    Are you using credit cards or payday loans to help pay monthly debt instalments?

    Have you ever stopped paying off your debt completely?

    If you have answered “yes” to any of the above questions, we would like to assist you in managing your debt more effectively.

    Creating a budget:

    Creating a budget leads to a reduction in spending and provides a view of potential cost savings that can be made.

    These cost savings include non-essential expenses such as:
    • Groceries: 
      • Reduce the frequency of which you shop for food by buying in bulk. 
      • Hunt for the bargains, buying items on sale will reduce your costs. 
      • Plan ahead and create a shopping list of all essential items. 
      • Never shop on an empty stomach to avoid buying on impulse.
    • Insurance: 
      • Remember that maintaining your insurance cover is essential, even when facing financial strain. 
      • A loss without insurance cover could be financially devastating and lead to a worse financial situation. 
      • In order to reduce the cost of insurance, it is important to ensure that you are paying a fair rate by obtaining competitive quotes, from a broker, on a regular basis.
    • Entertainment: 
      • Including TV subscriptions
    • Club Memberships: 
      • Including gym contracts
    The following steps will help you measure your financial standing by comparing your total expenditure against your income:
    • Determine your monthly expenditure
      • Fixed expenses:
        Monthly payments that remain the same from month to month (i.e. insurance, vehicle repayment and rent etc.). 
      • Variable expenses:
        Monthly payment that varies from month to month (i.e. cellular contracts, retail accounts, groceries and travel expenditure etc.).
      • Periodic expenses:
        Payments that do not occur on a monthly basis but must be budgeted for (i.e. licence renewals and education fees etc.) 

    Add the total expenses together to determine your Total Monthly Expenditure

    • Determine whether you are spending more than your monthly income
      • Where your income does not cover your monthly expenses, it is important to prioritise the repayment of debt obligations and reduce the unnecessary expenses (i.e. gym contracts, DSTV etc.)

    Read through some of the suggestions provided in ‘Get Financially Fit’ to help you reduce your debt obligations and free up some available income.

  • Debt management solutions

    Living on a budget may be all it takes to reduce debts and hold onto assets, if your debt obligations are small. 

    When techniques such as reducing spending, increasing income and following a strict budget aren’t enough to solve financial difficulties, it is important to contact your creditors in order to negotiate a new, more affordable debt repayment plan, where possible.

    Contact the respective product areas for more assistance on 0861 22 22 72

  • Rebuilding your credit history

    When pressured by debt, improving your credit history may be the least of your priorities, due to other immediate concerns. However, rebuilding a credit history is essential to ensure a healthy credit record and to assist in future credit applications.

    Simple steps to rebuilding a healthy credit history:
    • Ensure all small debts are paid on time and the debt obligation is settled as per the original contractual agreement.
    • When borrowing a small amount of money, ensure the monthly repayments are made according to the terms of the agreement.
    • Where a debit order has been arranged for a payment, always ensure the required amount is available in the account on the day of the payment deduction.

    Maintaining a healthy credit record by ensuring monthly credit obligations are met will gradually reduce the negative information reflected on the credit report, as credit record information can only be reported for seven years and six months. As time passes, your credit history will gradually contain more positive than negative information, assuming that you manage your finances responsibly.

  • What is over-indebtedness and how to overcome it

    Over-indebtedness is a determination made by a debt counsellor, where a consumer is unable to pay all their debts in a timely manner.

    Signs of over-indebtedness include:
    • You are unable to maintain your monthly payment obligations.
    • You make use of recurring payday loans to pay other debt obligations.
    • You default on payments of certain accounts in order to pay other debts, with the hope that you will catch up on those you put aside in forthcoming months.
    • You receive numerous calls for payment collections from your credit providers.
    • You have received a letter or summons from creditors and/or lawyers.
    • You have judgements granted against you.

    If one or more of the above signs applies to you, then you may be over-indebted and in need of financial management assistance and debt counselling.

    How to overcome over-indebtedness:

    The first step is to approach your credit provider, and negotiate lower instalments, where possible.

    Contact the respective product areas for more assistance on 0861 22 22 72

    If your credit provider is unable to negotiate a lower instalment, it is important to contact a registered debt counsellor, before legal action is taken against the credit agreement. If you are not familiar with any debt counsellors, contact the NCR on 0860 627 627 to locate a debt counsellor in your area or visit the NCR’s website: www.ncr.org.za (see ‘Register of Registrants’, and select ‘Debt Counsellors’).

    Read the section on ‘Debt Counselling’ for more information.

Get debt counselling

Debt Couselling

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.

  • An introduction to debt counselling

    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.

  • The pros and cons of 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.
  • About the National Credit Act

    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?
    • Banks:
      • Loans
      • Mortgages (Bonds)
      • Overdrafts
      • Credit cards
      • Vehicle finance
      • Any other personal finance
    • Retailers:
      • Furniture finance
      • Clothing accounts
      • Store
    • 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/

  • How does the NCA benefit you?

    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.

Cost-effective account

Absa Solutions Account

If you find yourself under debt review, our Solutions account has been designed to help you manage your finances better, especially your everyday banking.

What do you get?
  • No limit to the number of transactions
  • A debit card which allows you to transact with convenience
  • Most transactions are included in the monthly fee
  • You may use the account for debit orders, stop orders, money transfers and account payments
  • Make withdrawals, deposits, payments, transfers and print statements at any Absa ATM
  • No penalty charges will be levied against your account
  • Free Cellphone Banking when you open the account
  • Monitoring of your account transactions wherever you are with NotifyMe
Qualifying Criteria
  • A valid identity document
  • Proof of residence
  • Over 18 years old
  • Consumers are required to be under debt counselling to qualify
Benefits
  • A flat monthly fee
  • Free cellphone banking
  • Free NotifyMe

To make it even easier to stick to a monthly budget, a flat monthly fee is charged for all basic services. There is no limit to the number of transactions, and this account – together with debt counselling – will ensure that you have full control of your finances again.

Need more help?

Give us a call on

0861 22 22 72

Visit your nearest branch