Getting Out Of Debt – Sowetan Live Article 09/07/2012
JUL 9, 2012 | CONSUMER LINE, WITH THULI ZUNGU | SOWETAN LIVE
DEBT disempowers hundreds of thousands of families in South Africa.
Shame, humiliation, stress and even illness can set in when you lead a lifestyle that you can not afford and this is suddenly taken away from you.
Many people are struggling to repay their debts and to save their homes, cars and other possessions.
Some of them are angry and frustrated because service providers called and offered them unlimited credit, but did not tell them how difficult it would be to pay the debt.
If you are one of these unfortunate, over-indebted people, stop worrying because Consumer Line will help you by providing information to help you out of the debt trap.
We spoke to Debora Solomon of the Debt Counselling Industry (DCI).
She reassured us that there is life after debt and that consumers only need to know how to reach out for it.
“Knowledge is power. Empower yourself by gathering the necessary information. The internet is a good place to start,” Solomon said.
She said that consumers should visit the DCI web page: www.thedci.co.za. After opening the home page, select consumer. Answer the questions honestly because your answers determine the way out.
Questions include: Does your monthly income cover your debt? Does it cover your debt and your living expenses?
If you answer ‘No’ to both questions, you will be warned that you are over-indebted and should seek help from a debt counsellor.
If you answer “Yes” to: Does your income allow you to just scrape through some months, but leaves you nothing for an emergency?, this self-help tool will indicate you are close to being over-indebted, though it may take an unexpected problem to trigger a debt crisis.
You may need debt-counselling help and it might be a good idea to seek help before the debt crunch hits.
There are several more questions on issues such as “rolling money” by using credit cards to hop from one debt problem to another. Or maybe you have been skipping debt payments or are tempted to take out more loans to cover existing debt?
Do you have to pay for food on credit? Are you hiding your debt?
Do you feel ashamed of your debt and don’t know how to get out of it? Is your sleep affected at night because all you think about is your debt?
If yes is your answer to any of the above, see a debt counsellor immediately.
Watch out for our next column, which will tell you about your rights while you are under debt review.