SILVER CLINIC | Is there any truth in the ads suggesting that South African women can reduce their debt by over 50,000 rand?

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Consumers should be careful when it comes to such advertisements, if something sounds too good to be true, it actually can be.

A reader of Fin24, curious about the legitimacy of Internet advertisements announcing debt reduction, asks an expert to shed some light on the subject.

She writes:

Is there any truth in the many advertisements on the internet suggesting that South African women can drastically reduce their credit card debt? Many advertisements also explicitly mention elderly women who have debts greater than R50,000.

Kabelo Teme, communications officer at the Office of the Credit Ombud, respond :

Consumers should be careful when it comes to such advertisements. If something sounds too good to be true, it might be true.

When a consumer enters into a credit agreement, they agree to pay the full amount, and if they find themselves overburdened with debt, the National Credit Act (NCA) offers options such as debt counseling that consumers can use. And before a consumer decides to seek out a debt counseling service, it is prudent to contact the National Credit Regulator (NCR) to get a registered debt counselor who will help you pay off your debt.

The NCA for the debt intervention was published on August 19, 2019. The law provides for regulations before the debt intervention can be implemented and for the preparation of the NCR. The effective date has not yet been set by the President.

Once in place, debt intervention will be available to consumers earning less than R7,500 per month and with unsecured debts of less than R50,000.

Low-income people who are deemed to be in debt will have their debts restructured. At this point, any entity claiming to offer debt cancellations to women or men should be approached with caution as they can be social media or online scams. Debt intervention is not in effect.

Questions can be edited for brevity and clarity.


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