Be prudent this Christmas and have a good New Year

Sager suggests that a first step towards not overspending during the festive season is to determine how much money your household will have until the next payday at end of January.

Then consider all the usual expenses such as bond repayments or rent, vehicle payment, insurance, food, petrol, rates, airtime and data and other regular costs. These should be fairly easy to work out by looking at bank statements going back a few months.

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Think differently about paying back your debt this December

“As well as retailers encouraging spending, most people are on holiday and are spending more than usual. The result is that we often we see consumers picking and choosing which debts to pay over the festive period” says NDCA chairperson Benay Sager.

“The problem with this behaviour is that it usually drives up the cost of borrowing significantly because it negatively affects people’s credit ratings. Lenders consider consumers with poor credit scores higher risk and either won’t lend to them or charge higher interest rates to offset the risk.”

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Struggling consumers need better information about their options

National Debt Counsellors’ Association launches consumer information drive

Debt counselling is an effective way of helping South Africans who are struggling with debt, but a lack of understanding about the process, misinformation and concerns about being stigmatised mean some consumers don’t seek help or leave it too late.

To address the problem the National Debt Counsellors’ Association (NDCA), which counts among its members most of the largest debt counselling companies in South Africa, is embarking on a campaign to better inform the public about debt counselling, challenge the misperceptions and create an understanding that if you’re in financial difficulty, getting help is the responsible thing to do.

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