Written by: Casper le Grange
Article source: JOY! Magazine
Waking up in the morning having not slept much – knowing that you have financial commitments that are impossible to meet this month – can send you looking for ‘quick fixes’ for your debt problems. Unfortunately, being in the debt review industry since its inception I have seen and heard it all. This year on the 5th March, Debt Counselling Group South Africa (DCGSA) celebrated its 10th anniversary. Having been part of a debt review franchise for 2 years before founding DCGSA, I am aware of how some companies just see you as a Rand sign in their bank account. However, I must say that there are debt counsellors out there who do care.
There are debt counsellors who actually care about their clients!
A statement from the National Credit Regulator
The National Credit Regulator recently sent out a circular that stated, “In recent times, the NCR has noted with concern more misleading marketing or advertising trends by some Debt Counsellors (DCs), particularly on social media platforms such as Facebook. The advertisements are misleading in nature in that they misrepresent the spirit and objectives of the National Credit Act (NCA) regarding the provisions of debt counselling as a debt relief measure. Consequently, they bring debt counselling into disrepute, give it a bad name and undermine the efforts made by DCs who genuinely put the interests of over-indebted consumers first.”
Below depicts, amongst others, some of the observed misleading marketing trends:
- There is a new High Court ruling helping people in debt write off up to 63% of their monthly payments. Click “Apply Now” to take the FREE assessment.
- Debt Relief – High Court ruling frees South Africans in debt. Tap “Send Message”. This advert displays the picture of the President of the Republic of South Africa, the Honourable Cyril Ramaphosa.
- NCR DC is giving South Africans “Extra Cash” to enjoy by reducing debt interest and protection from repossession of assets. Free assessment sms “YES”.
- There is government proclamation on cancellation of debts; and we will attend to your legal and debt review flag removal in 20 working days with or without a court order.
Take advice from someone who is passionate
These are just a few examples of misleading advertising that one needs to be careful of. Most consumers are convinced that what they see on social media is correct, out of desperation to believe in something. Therefore I always explain to a consumer, the National Credit Regulator regulates this industry, call them and ask them for the facts of the matter.
I am a Registered Debt Counsellor, registered with the National Credit Regulator. 12 years in the industry should show that my dedication to doing debt review correctly is a priority, passion, and an honour.
Casper Le Grange is a registered debt counsellor with the National Credit Regulator, NCRDC1560.
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