MONEY CLINIC: My debt has climbed to R82 000, I can't afford to pay | Fin24
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MONEY CLINIC: My debt has climbed to R82 000, I can't afford to pay

Feb 22 2020 07:15

A Fin24 user urgently seeks guidance on how to pay off debt owing to the amount of R82 000. She writes: 

I would like to find out: how does one go about paying off debt? I can’t afford to pay my debts. I’ve tried the debt review process, I’m sure, four times or so....things are tight for me at times; I end up reversing the same money that was deducted by debt total debt is R82 000.

The banks are threatening to summon me to courts. I’ve been handed over. I want a better credit record so I can get a house, but this is stressing me out. I can’t seem to focus on anything. I feel like I’ve failed by all means in my life. Sometimes I just wish one bank could pay off everything for me and deduct a reasonable amount monthly from my account. This thing is affecting everything around me. Your assistance will be highly appreciated.

Elian Wiener, finance and investment expert, and founder of Wealthwoke, responds: 

Firstly (and most importantly), just because you struggle with money issues, does not make you a failure at life.

There are many aspects of wealth besides financial - such as relationship, spiritual, physical and mental. Draw confidence from those areas that you excel at while working to improve on those that you have not yet mastered.

As for your current predicament, although it seems you have tried something similar in the past, debt consolidation is likely the best course of action for you. A debt consolidation loan is taken out to pay off several smaller loans. These loans are available from several accredited banks and financial institutions. The main benefits of a debt consolidation loan is that you will only one creditor and repayments are often at a lower interest rate over a manageable period of time. The downside is that you likely won’t be able to get access to any other credit until you pay off the loan.

Finally, it is often said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. If you are going to succeed this time round, you have to change your approach and attitude towards money.

With most schools still not providing financial education, you are just one of millions of South Africans who struggle when it comes to money. Nevertheless, it’s up to you to educate yourself about money matters so that you have the knowledge and skills to get out of the debt trap and start building wealth. Learn the basics such as how to draw up a monthly budget; track your spending; avoid temptation and commit to investing a percentage of your income each month.  

Compiled by Allison Jeftha. 

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