Debt Review’s foremost benefit is that it conclusively fixes over-indebtedness, its ultimate achievement is to give you a second chance at building a healthy financial future.
The rest of the benefits of Debt Review is to make sure your journey to financial recovery is safe and sustainable – attentive to keep the ultimate achievement (to fix your debt) at its centre.
Explore the benefits of Debt Review below and learn how partnering with DebtSafe to fix your debt will be worthwhile to you, your loved ones and your financial future.
A: DebtSafe helps South Africans struggling with their debt through a program called Debt Review (also referred to as Debt Consolidation or Debt Counselling).
In short, our program reworks your debt repayments into an affordable, consolidated repayment plan – meaning your debt repayments are made into one single, reduced repayment.
Your repayment plan is formulated in such a way that it enables you to pay your debt as well as pay for essential living costs (school fees, food, rent, commute etc.), giving you immediate financial breathing space.
Your repayment plan is agreed upon by your creditors (we negotiate with them on your behalf), is regulated by the National Credit Act (NCA) and authorised through a Court Order. This means that our program legally protects you, and your assets (car and home), against creditors who want to take legal action against you.
Once you have successfully completed your DebtSafe program you will receive a Clearance Certificate. This is sent to you and the credit bureaus. The credit bureaus will then remove the Debt Review flag from your profile as well as all your default listings. Your payment history will however still reflect on your credit profile for the period of two years as per the conditions of the National Credit Act (NCA).
A: Yes, all debts must be included in the DebtSafe program. The only debt that may be excluded (but what you still must tell your Debt Counsellor about) is if your creditors have sent you a Summons before you applied.
A: In certain cases, we will be able to assist.
But it would depend on that person’s situation. To be viable for our program they would need a stable income to start with. Other factors that will need to be considered first are the amount of debt they have, the type of debt they have, what their living expenses are and their marital status.
A: The Credit Act requires that Debt Counsellors use an accredited Payment Distribution Agency (PDA) to manage their client’s money in order to prevent mishandling of funds which means your money stays safe.
Your accredited Payment Distribution Agency (PDA) handles the distribution of your money, and will also provide you with monthly statements. The PDA DebtSafe have partnered with is called Intuitive PDA.
Q: Can Creditors Take Legal Action Against Me, or Repossess My Home/Vehicle While I’m in Debt Review?
A: If you stay up to date with your Debt Review repayment plan your creditors will not be able to take legal action against you – including repossession.
Even with the above said, creditors could try to intimidate and threaten you (which is unethical and unlawful). When a creditor harasses you, you can take the following steps:
- Record all details of the harassment.
- Inform the creditor to contact DebtSafe.
- Contact a DebtSafe Debt Counsellor and instruct them to open a Creditor Harassment Incident Report.
The DebtSafe Debt Counsellor will then handle the situation for you further.
Regarding vehicle repossession: Under no circumstances do you hand over your vehicle. Debt Collectors use illegal, dishonest, ways to trick you into giving up your vehicle. If confronted by them, do not sign anything and contact one of the DebtSafe Debt Counsellors immediately.
Repossession is only legal when a Warrant of Delivery is handed to you by the Sheriff, and not in any other circumstances.
A: All credit agreements must be included in your Debt Review. The only exception is those credit agreements where the creditor has started legal action. But even then, you will have to let your Debt Counsellor know about the agreement so that it can be taken into account in your overall monthly budget.
(Very important. You have to disclose all your accounts to your Debt Counsellor, no account may be excluded.)
Furthermore, if you have a shared credit agreement (where you and your spouse, for example, both signed for credit) the person you share that agreement with will also have to apply for Debt Review with you in a joint application.
Regarding service agreements (like tax debt, municipal debt, school fees etc.). Usually, they are not included in your Debt Review, but still, need to form part of your overall monthly budget. There are however exceptions to this.
Each client’s debt and overall financial situation differs, so we would advise getting our free Debt Assessment where a DebtSafe Consultant will be able to determine how your Debt Review will be structured according to your various accounts and financial obligations.