DebtSafe Blog

Coronavirus/Covid-19 Pandemic and Panic: How the Debt Review Process Fits in & Can Help You, the Consumer

Various countries, individuals, consumers and lately, perhaps, you and other South Africans have surely felt the wind being knocked out of your sails. The Covid-19/Coronavirus has sent shockwaves throughout the world and has now sent us in South Africa into lockdown for 21 days – how are you planning to handle this unprecedented emergency protocol?

There are various options to consider, one of them being Debt Review. The Debt Review process is a practical, personalised, financial recovery plan that fixes debt. The Debt Review or Debt Counselling industry was introduced in 2009 by the National Credit Act (NCA) as a solution for South Africans to fix their debt and is strictly governed by the National Credit Regulator (NCR). For more than a decade Debt Review has been a viable option to over-indebted South Africans.

Here are the benefits (to name but a few) that Debt Review offers you, the consumer considering this type of getting-out-of-debt solution:

  • Firstly, it is important to honour President Ramaphosa’s recent recommendations and guidelines, including staying calm and focusing on the task at hand. Manage, therefore, what you can and find the best possible solution to fix your debt problems/situation. If you are over-indebted already, tried everything, and you currently receive a form of income – you can ask for an assessment to see if you can qualify for Debt Review.
  • If you qualify for Debt Review and apply, your Debt Counsellor will negotiate with your various creditors on your behalf. And, your monthly debt repayment amounts will lessen to one affordable monthly repayment amount. How comforting is that?
  • During this process your assets, such as your home and vehicle, will be protected, and you have a Debt Counsellor fighting against those harassment calls that you have been receiving.
  • When you complete the Debt Review process, your Debt Counsellor issues a Clearance Certificate, known as a Form 19, and lets the various Credit Bureaus know to unflag you on their systems so that you can start (slowly but surely) build your credit score (sustainably this time) again.

As a current Debt Review client, here’s what you can do to continue to make Debt Review work for your current situation in these dire, uncertain times:

  • Stick to the restructured budget/payment plan that your Debt Counsellor worked out for you, and don’t panic buy or overextend yourself these next couple of weeks.
  • Since your Debt Counsellor has negotiated on your behalf to improve/lessen your monthly debt repayment amount(s), you have to continue to play your part in the process as well. Make sure that you keep up with your Debt Review rehabilitation/repayment amount during this crisis period, otherwise, you’ll risk the chance of being terminated from the Debt Review process by a creditor due to nonpayment.
  • If you are concerned about income-related matters during this stage, do not hesitate to contact your Debt Counsellor about your situation. He/She will assist you in the best way of going forward. Contact your Debt Counsellor directly to assist with any questions or concerns that you may have during this crisis period.

**Please note that if you want to get into contact with DebtSafe specifically, the phone line is unavailable during the lockdown period. So, please communicate with the team through email. Make sure to send your communication (with your ID number and contact details) to [email protected].

Being proactive is the best defence against Covid-19, and the same can be said for your finances. Why wait to see if Debt Review is a solution for your current financial situation or not? Rather communicate and give Debt Review a chance as a solution to FIX YOUR DEBT before it is too late.