South African consumers have been tested and punched financially with the increase of higher interest rates, fuel prices that cause cash flow strain, the cost of food and groceries has increased where an ordinary family is now paying approximately R800.00 more on the basic food needs. All the above are contributing facts that debt repayments no longer are affordable and accounts go into arrears due to short or missed payments as the budget is over stretched. The increase in consumers applying for new loans to service debt and cover family costs, putting further burdens on the already stress budget. Have all the facts about debt counselling and how the program can help you change your finances into a positive outcome.

Good advice:

Debt counselling is an effective way to regain control of your financial affairs.

Annienne Nel – NCRDC2452 Registered debt counsellor of Consumer Debt Support South Africa (CDSSA), WE DARE TO CARE FOR EXCELLENCE shares her experience and caring with you on how you can manage difficult financial challenges and take save options to protect assets and family spending.

Many people don’t understand what debt counselling is, and they are often misinformed by misleading advertising, and feedback influence that leads to a stigma, so they don’t seek further information by visiting the National Credit Regulator (NCR) website. Having access to knowledge gives you the power to make decisions that will benefit you.

Finding the services of a registered counsellor can be embarrassing for many that no longer can afford to pay their contractual debt repayments. South Africa has the National Credit Act (NCA) that is regulated by the NCR, that enforces the rights of consumers struggling to pay their debt due to financial difficulties. Our debt counselling program is one of its kind, world class and it works really well.

Understanding the benefits of debt counselling will aid consumers to take action on the home loan, vehicle and other credit agreement before or already in arrears. Only accounts that have not been issued a summons can be included into debt counselling. Don’t leave seeking help until it is too late.

Before you get deeper into trouble:

With the growing financial pressure consumers are facing it is recommended that you connect with us when you no longer can make your contractual debt repayments.

Creditors will call you to collect on skipping or missed payments as you are in breach of your contractual payment agreements.

The earlier you react to your debt situation the sooner you will benefit from the debt counselling program that is regulated to give you the financial support and assistance with a legal debt restructuring payment plan.

Where do you start:

Contact Consumer Debt Support on our website you can leave your details for a call back or chat with us.

All debt counsellors must be registered with the National Credit Regulator  with a valid NCRDC number– to check if the one you are considering to contact is registered, go to

Our debt counsellors use the Debt Counselling Rule Set system, (DCRS) It’s the industries only approved gold standard budget and payment plan that benefits consumers and creditors alike by significantly lowering interest rates and secures acceptances in the time frames to complete the new proposal and final accepted outcome.

It is important that any debt counselling company or individual debt counsellor belongs to the SOUTH AFRICAN DEBT COUNSELLING ASSOCIATION, the only professional body which ensures its members adhere to the industry standards, report problems with creditors, ensure consumers are treated fairly. Ensures quarterly meetings are held where problems are discussed and industry updates shared.

How do you apply for debt counselling?

One of our debt counsellors will start off by doing a free financial assessment with you.

  1. To assess what you owe to your creditors.
  2. Your current income.
  3. Your salary deductions.
  4. Your household budget, you need to cover personal or family expenses every month.

The outcome must benefit you by reducing your monthly debt instalment.

The outcome will verify whether debt counselling is the option for you.

You need to be honest about your financial situation so that the outcome of the assessment will be accurate.


South Africans must have an income to apply for debt counselling. If you do not have an income how will you pay the creditors every month? If you are starting a new job or going for interviews come talk us, your situation will need to be assessed.

What is seen as income?

  1. Monthly salary paid to your bank account.
  2. A weekly or fortnightly wage paid to your bank account.
  3. Self-employed, money paid into your bank account.
  4. Pension income paid to your bank account.
  5. Property rental income paid into your bank account.

Have proof of income, then you can apply for debt counselling.

What accounts are eligible for debt counselling inclusion?

All credit agreements granted as part of the NCA such as Home Loan bonds, vehicle finance with or without residual or balloon payments, personal loans and various other types of debt can be included.

Accounts you can’t include are municipal and NSFAS (student financial aid) debt, the Company (PTY) LTD or Closed Corporation CC, non-personal debt. When you signed surety for business debt those accounts can’t be included into debt counselling, they are debt in the name of a Juristic Person and not a natural person (debt in your personal name only). Only debt in the name of a Natural person can be included into debt counselling. Talk to us, we will advise on what is the next option.

Marital Status:

If you are married in community of property, you must apply with your spouse. You have a JOINT ESTATE and therefore you can’t make any financial decisions without your spouse. Traditional marriage is seen as married in community of property the same rule as Joint Estate will apply.

If you are married out of community, of property, you have a SEPARATE ESTATE and therefore you can apply for debt counselling without your spouse consent.


If you are satisfied with the debt counselling assessment outcome, you can then formally apply. As soon as you do this, the counsellor takes on the responsibility of informing all your creditors, and negotiate reduced monthly payments, which will be within the agreed industry DCRS guideline and Task Team Agreements (TTA). The ‘rearranged debt payment plan’ is then approved by a Magistrates Court or the National Consumer Tribunal (NCT), which confirms that the creditors have agreed to the lowered or 0% interest rates and won’t change service fees as per the agreements reached for the period of your debt counselling.

When your debt counselling application started and your details are listed with the NCR and captured on DHS debthelpsystem you will no longer be able to access credit or use your accounts included into debt counselling. Your creditors will put an internal block on the cards and accounts as you are over-indebted.

Your creditors for 60 business days after your debt counselling application has been submitted to the debt counsellors office, no legal action may be taken against you. Accounts with creditors pre-legal departments must be included into debt counselling as no summons was issued. Creditors like Micro Lenders that are found not to be registered with the National Credit Regulator as Registered Credit Providers will be reported to the NCR as per our registration mandate. Our consumers always come first and their best interest protected.

Being an informed consumer helps you to keep track of the process and confirmation that your debt counsellor and admin team is working on your application. If  your debt counsellor is not updating you with the process of your application, you should have reasons to be concerned.

New reduced PAYMENTS:

You will have a distribution folder with our registered Payment Distribution Agent (PDA) regulated and monitored by the NCR.

You then make your one affordable payment every month, which is distributed to your creditors through an independent payment distribution agency. Your receive an SMS when you payment drops in the PDA folder linked to your ID number, and a distribution statement emailed after your money was distributed as per your proposal payment plan. All registered and reputable debt counsellors should have a client-service aftercare team available throughout the process to assist, support and communicate with creditors and consumers. You will have peace of mind and your stress relieved knowing what is going on with your debt repayments and money. REMEMBER IT IS YOUR DEBT AND YOUR MONEY at Consumer Debt Support WE DARE TO CARE FOR EXCELLENCE!

The once off debt-counselling restructuring fees and monthly PDA and aftercare fees will form part of your reduced monthly instalments, and the NCR fee guidelines are available on our website

What happens when I no longer can pay?

Life happens to all of us, no matter our background of employment status. The debt counselling process has a recognized notification document that must be submitted to creditors together with all the supporting documents showing the reasons it is not possible to pay for one or two months, or due to retrenchment, the death of a spouse or serious illness and income affected due the your company struggling in a difficult economy. Creditors have the right to be informed of changes in your income or personal circumstances that affects your ability to pay the proposed payment plan. It is the rights of the creditors to respond and give the debt counsellor the outcome of their decision.

 For how long do you pay your debt counselling payment plan?

Debt counselling usually lasts three to five years, depending on the affordability of the amount you can pay. DCRS payment plans we guarantee lower interest rates and no service fees on agreements until the debt is paid up. When your last payment is made for your vehicle and other loans and store card accounts, we issue the clearance certificate, confirming the listed accounts paid-up with the supporting paid-up letters issued by your creditors.

The home loan creditor confirms the account can be exited and referred back to the mainstream accounts department. Your debt counselling clearance will indicate your home loan is not paid up and the letter from the bank will be submitted as proof the bank consented to the clearance process.

As you read above, there are two clearance certificates. One for all unsecured credit agreements as there was no home loan registered in your name. Second is the home loan account was included and benefits early exit as all the other accounts are paid up, the bank confirms no arrears on the home loan and the contractual payments continue as normal.

You have successfully completed the debt counselling process:

Once you have the clearance certificate, you can again re-enter the credit market and apply for credit.

In Conclusion:

Applying for debt counselling is an individual assessment based on your personal financial outcome. If you are not drawing up a monthly realistic budget to plan your cash flow spending, I suggest you start doing that. CDS helps consumers to adjust to the new way of planning finances before spending. The goal is to start the debt counselling program and complete the process until all the debt is paid-up. Don’t give up half way in the program see it through, the reward is sweet, gaining personal experience and a new found wisdom and financial growth about personal finances. Remember, if you don’t see the program through and you default on the new affordable payment agreement, then creditors terminate the debt counselling process and the payment arrangement will no longer apply, your problems will be far from over. Your creditors will enforce the terms, interest, fees and payments of the original credit agreements. Going to another debt counsellor won’t solve the problem as debt counselling can’t start over.




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