If you find yourself financially failing to stay on top of paying your creditors, debt review or debt counselling is the most sensible solution. But it’s got a bit of a stigma attached to it, so we asked one of the Octogen team members, a Debt Counsellor and Financial Wellness Officer to explain why.
Why do some people believe that debt review is a “trap”?
Recent press has suggested that once you’re in debt review, you can’t get out of it. But that’s simply not true. Once you’ve been helped to pay off your debts through debt counselling and applied for a Clearance Certificate, you are free to apply for credit again.
How does debt counselling help you pay off your debts?
Octogen Debt Counsellors, like me, can help in just seven simple steps. We make it possible for you to face your debts head-on by having a look at all your documents and finding a way forward with your credit providers.
First, you start by filling in this form and then you face reality by collecting all the documents we need to draw up a budget for you. With your go-ahead, we then negotiate with your credit providers. All those demanding phone calls can stop. When they and the Credit Bureau review and accept the reasonable budget or repayment plan we create for you, you just stick to it until your debt is paid off.
Does debt review mean taking a break from paying?
No, it means we negotiate with your credit providers to make paying off your debts more manageable. That means you can get on top of your finances – pay your debt while still taking care of your everyday expenses.
What if you lose your income while in debt review?
Although according to the National Credit Act, your credit providers have the right to terminate the repayment plan and go ahead with implementing the penalties involved with unpaid debts. But Octogen is committed to the financial wellbeing of all our consumers. You just need to keep your debt counsellor informed and we can find a way together.
Where do you think the misinformation about debt review comes from?
I don’t think it’s ever been fashionable to be in debt, although everyone is to a certain extent. There are some unscrupulous businesses out there who have made the media recently, but Octogen is not one of them. We want to help people – especially as the COVID-19 pandemic has reportedly put added financial strain on 58% of South African households. Applying for debt counselling is just another way of asking for help and taking control.
Can Octogen help people pay off their debts without them going into debt review?
Yes! Freedom from financial worries is within your reach. Use our budget planner for a free financial review and then request a call-back if you have any more questions. I am a Financial Wellbeing Officer and my purpose is to educate and assist consumers.