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Struggling to make payments? Take these steps

Take immediate action if you are struggling to make payments.

When you sign a credit agreement and accept credit from It is your responsibility to manage a credit provider, you have entered into a legal contract whereby you agree to the terms and conditions of the contract.

That means you agree to pay back the amount stated (the principal amount) at the specified interest rate and costs within the required period of time. If you fail to pay, you are in breach of that contract.

Checklist

You are heading for credit trouble if one or more of the following situations applies to you:

  • You depend on inconsistent, unpredictable income such as overtime or an extra part-time job to pay your bills, or you are always looking for extra cash by selling goods to pay your debts.
  • Your expenses exceed your income and you run out of money be- fore the end of the month.
  • You borrow money from family members and friends to get through the month or pay your bills.
  • You are repeatedly at or near the maximum credit limits on your credit or store cards and lines of credit.
  • You often struggle to even make the minimum payments on any of your credit agreements.
  • You regularly miss payments and find yourself falling further and further behind every month.
  • You are not able to set aside any money for savings, or you often need to take money from your savings account to pay your bills.
  • You regularly find yourself taking loans, or cash advances on your credit cards, to make ends meet.

Your responsibility

It is your responsibility to manage your loan effectively and manage all your debt obligations efficiently, so that you honour your agreements.

“A debt is still unpaid, even if forgotten.” – Irish Proverb

There are consequences for not making regular payments. Remember that every time you skip a payment, or pay less than the minimum instalment, this is regarded as negative credit behaviour.

You should also know that all credit and payment information is reported to all registered credit bureaus in South Africa on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.

Sometimes, no matter how good our intentions are to make regular payments, unforeseen events cause us to miss a payment. When this occurs, it is important for you to be proactive and take action before you skip a payment by contacting your credit providers directly to make an arrangement that might give you some relief.

By using the steps and tips given on the following pages, you can stay in charge of your credit and make it work for you.