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