Debt problems and debt management


The stress of rising debt or past due bills can be overwhelming and it can happen to anyone. Debt does not recognise class, race, weight or even income. Whether you are on UIF or you’re a fat cat enjoying the gravy train, everyone needs to manage to live within their own means or they will end up in debt. Credit can be empowering and help you get through life, but if it is misused, mis-sold or misunderstood it can be a highly destructive force too. Everyone should order a copy of their credit report once a year. 

Create a budget

If you're feeling the strain financially, or you’re starting to struggle to repay a specific loan, don’t kid yourself and pretend there isn’t a problem. The sooner you're honest with yourself, the sooner you can start taking action to rectify the situation. The first step in the right direction of debt management is to make a list of any outstanding bills, debts and loans. Write down the lender’s details, how much you owe and how much your repayments are. This is the beginning of creating a budget.

Talk to your creditors

Next, talk to your creditors quickly. Depending on the lender and the type of credit, you may be able to reduce your payments, extend the loan period, suspend repayments for a short period, or even repay the loan early (if you have a small amount owing and want to reduce the number of your monthly commitments). You may not even know the options that are available to you, which is why you need to pick up the phone and make that first call.

Seek help

Don't stick your head in the sand and keep financial stress to yourself - speak to someone close to you or seek counselling and advice from an independent source like a debt counsellor.