RD Debt Counselling is a professional and reliable debt counselling firm in Benoni, Gauteng. We help you become debt free in the shortest possible time.

Vehicle checks you must do before you go on a long trip

Vehicle checks you must do before you go on a long trip

Russell Dickerson from RD Debt Counselling chats about Car Insurance and vehicle safety. Catch Russell on East Rand Stereo, every Saturday morning at 8:15.

We all think that we are safe on the road because we use our cars every day. But, slowly over time, things start to rattle and fluid levels and tire pressure goes down. If you are going away over the long weekend, you don’t want to discover this when you are doing 120km per hour on the freeway, or you’re halfway to Sodwana.

Vehicle checks you must do before you go on a long trip

Many people send their car for a service before a long trip, but does that mean that you don’t need to do any vehicle checks before you leave?  No

Even if you have just had a service, pull out the dipstick and check the oil levels. You won’t be the first or the last to get a car back and they forgot to refill the oil, and you don’t want to discover that half-way to Durban.

Check your spare tire – check the tread and the pressure. We were on our way to the Eastern Cape and my wife took the car to fill it up and check the tires. The petrol attendant got in underneath the vehicle with the air hose and came out and said everything was fine and we are good to go. About an hour into the trip, we had a flat tire. It wasn’t a problem. We pulled over and stopped and then we discovered that the spare had a faulty valve and the spare was completely flat. So, here we were on the side of the road with a car full of people, a loaded trailer and 2 flat tires. That added about 3 hours into the trip and lots of irritation. Be warned! Check the spare yourself, give it a couple of knocks to be sure that it is full of air and look at the gauge on the air hose to make sure the pressure is correct.

Trailers are wonderful things, but as someone said to me once, it’s just another axle and 2 tires to cause problems.

Make sure that the wheel-spanner from your car fits the wheel nuts on the trailer. I know mine doesn’t and I have to carry a separate wheel spanner for the wheel nuts on the trailer. If a friend of mine who spend 2 hours on the side of the road to Durban hadn’t warned me I would never have checked, or put a different wheel-spanner in the nosecone.

Walk around and check lights indicators. If you have a trailer, check those lights and indicators, especially the brake lights.

Read more: Affordable things to do with kids during the school holidays 

Do the paperwork!

Ensure your driver’s license and your vehicle license is still valid. Remember to check the trailer as well. We don’t get our renewal notices like we used to, and sometimes we forget to check the license. This mistake cost me R500 the other day.

Make sure your insurance is up to date.  There is a very interesting insurer called Meliorleaf that has developed an insurance product especially for people under debt review.

If your car is written off by the insurance, then they will give you a buying order for either R60 000 or R100 000 depending which package you take. If your car is written off and the insurance pays the bank back what you owe them, you are left stranded. At least now you have a buying voucher from the Independent Dealer Association (IDA) to get a replacement vehicle until you can make another plan. This works very well for people under debt review because you can’t get another car finance deal while you are under debt review.

How to get debt free quickly

How to get debt free

At RD Debt Counselling, we help you get debt free in the shortest possible time. We do this by offering debt counselling services to individuals who are not sure how to get rid of their debt.

Do you need debt counselling?

  • Are struggling to pay your monthly debt on time?
  • Are your bills piling up?
  • Do you struggle to survive for the rest of the month after you have paid off all your bills and your debit orders have gone off?

If you answered yes to any of these debt review questions, then you will benefit from debt counselling.

What are the benefits of debt counselling?

  • There are no additional charges to consider – Debt Counselling fees are included in your monthly repayment.
  • There is one monthly payment for all your debt.
  • The National Credit Act protects you from being blacklisted unless you are listed when you apply.
  • No need for further financial stress.
  • Credit providers cannot start legal action once your Debt Counselling has started.
  • Your Debt Counselling starts when you have supplied all the info needed and signed the documents.

How to get debt free?

If you are not able to make your monthly payments, your bills are piling up and you don’t have enough money left to live on, you will need help to get debt free.

Don’t leave it too long! if your creditors start with legal action like issuing a summons, then they are allowed to refuse Debt Counselling and continue with their legal action.

Does debt counselling work?

The answer to this question is a definite yes! Debt Counselling works! Read Oscar’s story here.

Contact RD Debt Counselling today!

We are debt counsellors based in Johannesburg, South Africa. We help you become debt free in the shortest possible time! Contact us for a free debt review today.

Debt counselling works Elizabeth debt review

Debt review works! Read Elizabeth’s story on debt counselling with RD Debt Counselling services

At the time, I was a single mom who had a good job with a good position. I earned a good salary and lived comfortably until life happened. With drastic changes at work and a salary cut sending me into a financial downward spiral,  I had to make tough decisions to try and survive on my own.  My path crossed with Russel and Wilna. The picture they drew of my current situation was not a nice one, but one that will put me on safe ground.  Russel and Wilna helped me by providing me with a no-nonsense approach, guiding me and giving advise, holding my hand every step of the way. I can now say that I am debt free! This is real people make the right choices.

Elizabeth
consumer rights rd debt counselling

Consumer rights – everything you should know about your rights as a consumer

In South Africa, and around the world, all consumers have rights. Theseconsumer rights in terms of the Consumer Protection Act, Act 68 of 2008, are:

  1. The right to equality
  2. The right to privacy
  3. The right to choose
  4. The right to disclosure of information
  5. The right to fair and responsible marketing
  6. The right to a fair and honest dealing
  7. The right to fair, just and reasonable terms and conditions; and
  8. The right to safe and good quality goods

So, what happens if you feel like your rights have not been protected? In this article below, I discuss a few rights consumers have when it comes to buying and returning goods, on-the-road fees when it comes to buying a new car and club fees.

Consumer Protection Act

Here are a couple of things we need to know/remember when it comes to the Consumer Protection Act (CPA).

If you buy something from a shop and it is defective or unsuitable for the purpose that it was bought for, you may take it back within 6-months and the shop has to either repair the article, r give you the full purchase price back. It is up to you to decide if they refund or repair the product. If they have to repair the product, you automatically get a 3-month warranty on the repairs.

Let’s look at an example.

Firstly, the product has to be from a business which, in its normal course of business, sells these items. It won’t work if you buy a lawnmower on Gumtree from an individual. That person doesn’t sell lawnmowers in their normal business, they have concreted their yard and now they don’t need the lawnmower anymore.  But if you go to a hardware shop and buy a lawnmower, there are lots of different lawnmowers on the floor and they sell lawnmowers in their normal business, then if after the motor seizes up after 4 months, you can take it back and demand a full refund, or they must repair the lawnmower.

Another instance to consider is reconditioned goods. Often you will take a lawnmower back and demand a full refund and the shop will take it back, the workshop will fix it, touch it up, so that it looks new again and then put it on the floor with the other new lawnmowers.  This is not allowed. If they do fix it and put it back on the floor to be sold, then it has to have a sign on it which clearly says that it has been repaired and reconditioned.

It is very nice to have laws and rights, but what do you do if you take the lawnmower back to the shop and they say sorry, we can’t help you? Here are 6 things you can do in this case:

  1. Contact the shop in writing, and keep copies of anything you send them, if you phone and discuss, then follow up the phone call with an email confirming what was discussed
  2. Know what you want, fixed or refunded, and tell them
  3. Make copies of all the documents, the tax invoice, quotes, emails etc
  4. Write down the dates and what happened
  5. Follow up in writing and after a reasonable time if you have no joy, or they refuse to assist you
  6. Contact the Consumer Goods and Services Ombud and let them investigate the case

On-the-road fees when buying a new car

It’s an exciting time when it is time to buy a new car. You go on an exciting search and you find the car you want, get a quote and in the quote is an on-the-road-fee.

This fee can include delivery, fuel, licence and registration if they do it for you. You can do all of this yourself if you want to and they may not charge you more than it cost them. It is allowed to be included in the purchase price and allowed to be included in the finance.

But here is where the problem comes in. Certain dealers also loaded others fees onto that fee.

Here is an example:

  • Checking the car (R1600) – it’s a new car, it should already be checked
  • Car mats (R730)
  • Number plate holders (R150)
  • Service pouch for the service book (R450)
  • Keyring (R70)

Here, an extra R3000 was added to the cost of the car for stuff you probably didn’t even want The worst part is, that it is added to the finance. The keyring, the mats, the checking of the car and the service pouch added R3000 to your finance and you are paying those things off over 60 or 72 months at an interest of 10 to about 14%. In other words, you are now paying off your car mats over 5 years.

Club fees

When you open a clothing account, very often you will be asked, and sometimes not even asked at all, whether you want to join the club. In return for joining, you get a magazine very often and a whole lot of special offers and information. If you want all of this, then it is up to you to pay the extra R40 – R80 per month.

But what if you don’t want it? There have been a number of legal cases where the National Credit Regulator has taken big retailers to court over club fees being added to accounts automatically.

When you open a new account and you see club fees, and you don’t want them, then say no. It is illegal to force anyone to belong to the club and it cannot be included in your application for credit. There is no such thing as you automatically join the club unless you specifically ask.  They have to make you aware that you are joining the club and explain all the terms and conditions beforehand.

If you are already part of the club, and you don’t see any benefit from belonging to their club, then cancel your club membership in writing with the shop.

These tips and more will be on our Facebook page, so be sure to follow along to ensure you educate yourself on consumer rights, it will save you a lot of money and irritation in the future.

If you need more information on your consumer rights, contact RD Debt Counselling:

Phone: 011 421 2918

Address: 133 Newlands Ave in Benoni

Catch Russell on East Rand Stereo, every Saturday morning at 08:15.

what is credit life insurance rd debt counselling in johannesburg

What is Credit Life Insurance?

Russell Dickerson from RD Debt Counselling chats about Credit Life Insurance. Catch Russell on East Rand Stereo, every Saturday morning.

What is Credit Life Insurance?

Credit Life Insurance is an extra charge on a loan or Credit Card, or furniture or clothing account and the idea of credit life is that if you are retrenched or if you die, or if you have a permanent or temporary disability, then they will pay.

There are different rules for each event, and obviously, if you die, then they pay out the full amount, and what they do is settle the outstanding balance on your account. This is great because you don’t leave your family with debt in your estate, and depending how much debt you have, this can eat up a lot of money that would have been left for your spouse or kids.

The other times that they pay out are if you are retrenched or you have a permanent or temporary disability and then there are different rules and policy conditions that determine how long they will pay.  On retrenchment most Credit Life will pay for between 6 months and a year, and with a disability, it is more complicated because it depends on the type of disability, will you work again, how long will it take etc.

Some Credit Life is compulsory, and on loans, you have to have credit life, so when you apply for the loan, they often don’t tell you that they are putting credit life on the loan and you pay extra every month as part of your monthly premium for the credit life. And on other accounts, you can choose whether you want credit life or not.

You don’t have to take the Credit Life that they are offering you at the loan place.  If you for whatever reason want to organise your credit life yourself, then the law says that you can do that, but nobody does it, because most of the time, you don’t even know that you are also buying credit life when you open the account or take the loan.

what is credit life insurance rd debt

Where do you get Credit Life Insurance?

No-one can tell you where to get credit life. I have never heard an advert on the radio for credit life. I have heard thousands for car insurance home insurance, medical Insurance, but never for credit life, but they are out there, and the more people that start asking to do their own credit life when they apply for a loan, the more companies will want you to find them.

In Debt Review we deal with a lot of Credit Life, because many people are retrenched these days, and Credit Life is a good thing. We have a number of clients who are under debt review and have been retrenched and their accounts are paid every month by the Credit Life.

But we also see the bad things that happen in the industry and believe me there are companies out there that are ripping you off on Credit Life. Some of the furniture places are making a lot of money overcharging for Credit Life, and giving Credit Life to people who can’t claim for it.

There was a court case where the credit regulator took a furniture place to court over them giving credit life to people over 65, and they would never have paid that out.  And a few of the loans places are really ripping people off.  I have a client who has 2 loans, one is R90 000 and the other is R110 000.  On the R90 000 loan, he is paying R930 per month and on the R110k loan, he is paying R380 per month, so you can see, the risk is the same for both loans because it is the same person.

My message here is.: when you apply for a new account, ask the person how much the Credit Life is and ask them to tell you how much per thousand Rand. The maximum number I normally work on is about R4 per thousand Rand, so if you borrow R100k then you shouldn’t pay more than about R400 per month credit life, and that is the maximum. There are companies who supply Credit Life at around R3 per thousand Rand borrowed.

Another problem is that many companies won’t let you change after you have signed, so if you are desperate for a loan and you sign and you don’t ask about the Credit Life, and you discover afterwards that you are paying R10 per thousand Rand for your Credit Life, you will probably end up paying that extra amount for the full term of the loan, which could be up to 5 or 6 years on a big loan and over a long period, that is a lot of money you are wasting.

Always check how much your Credit Life is when you open a new loan

Always ask how much your credit life is before you sign the documents, and if it is more than about R4 per thousand Rand then ask if you can organize your own credit life, or get a loan from somewhere else if they are difficult.

benefits of debt counselling

7 Benefits of Debt Counselling

Debt counselling was introduced in 2007, with the National Credit Act 34 of 2005 and although many are intimidated by the term “debt counselling” or “debt counsellor”, here are 7 benefits of debt counselling.

7 Benefits of Debt Counselling

  1. All of your debt repayments will be reduced and in many cases, the interest rates and service fees will be reduced for the entire repayment period
  2. You make one monthly payment for ALL of your debt
  3. Your home, car and any other assets will be legally protected from repossession
  4. You will not receive any more threatening phone calls and legal letters once you have started the debt counselling process
  5. You can’t get any new credit while you are under debt review and this prevents you from getting into any further financial difficulties
  6. There is no permanent record that you have ever been under debt review at the credit bureaus after you have repaid your debt
  7. You take control of your finances once more, you know exactly how much you need to pay every month and there is no need for any new loans or arrangements with creditors

Need to talk to a debt counsellor? Contact RD Debt Counselling for a FREE debt review today.

Everything you need to know about debt

We answer your most-asked questions about debt and debt counselling.

Everything you need to know about debt

What is over-indebtedness?

A consumer is over-indebted when they do not have the means to meet their debt repayments, and their expenditure exceeds their income.

What are the most common causes of over-indebtedness?

There are various reasons for over-indebtedness, including the following:

  • Over-committing oneself financially;
  • Poor monthly budgeting;
  • Purchasing on impulse after already incurred other debt;
  • Change in personal circumstances or life stages (such as having a child or going through a divorce)
  • A sudden change in your employment status
  • Purchasing essentials such (ie food) on one’s credit card;
  • Conversion of short-term debt (eg credit card debt) to long-term debt (eg home loan) to increase your monthly cash flow, which increases your interest debt in the long term;
  • Making applications for credit in your name on behalf of a third party;
  • Standing surety for a third party who may default on his or her repayments – resulting in you being responsible for the third party’s debt.

What is reckless credit?

Reckless credit is credit that granted to a consumer under a credit agreement where the credit provider:

  • Failed to carry out a proper credit risk assessment to ensure that the consumer can afford the loan;
  • Proceeds to grant a loan to the consumer despite the consumer not being able to afford the loan based on the assessment conducted; and
  • The consumer does not understand his/her rights and obligations in a credit agreement as well as the costs involved in taking the loan.

Who can deem a credit agreement ‘reckless’?

Only a court, and only at the request of either the debt counsellor or the consumer. The Court can suspend the credit agreement that has been declared reckless or change the terms and conditions of the agreement.

If a credit agreement is found to be reckless, the credit provider cannot enforce the agreement and the obligations of the consumer are set aside.

What are the benefits of debt counselling?

Debt counselling was introduced in 2007, with the National Credit Act 34 of 2005 and although many are intimidated by the term “debt counselling” or “debt counsellor”, here are benefits of debt counselling.

Source: National Credit Regulator

Half of South Africans fighting off debt tide

Half of South Africans fighting off debt tide

According to the National Credit Regulator (NCR) almost 50% of South Africans are struggling to pay their monthly credit bills, while the high cost of living – particularly following steadily increased electricity and petrol prices – are only adding to the national problem.

And the stress of having to meet these steep monthly repayments sees many turning to shifty loan agencies – which aggravates the problem, as the repayment interest is high, while no structured debt counselling services are offered.

Anba ‘Paddy’ Padayachee of Money and Legal Matters, says the solution that seems easiest is not always the wisest option.

‘Those who are struggling under the burden on high monthly debt often become desperate, and this makes them extremely vulnerable to bad financial decisions as they seek a ‘quick fix’ solution,’ he explains.

‘The correct steps to take when you are in this situation is to seek out reputable, structured and professional debt advice. Debt is not final – it is a situation that, with the correct advice, can be solved in as little as eighteen months.’

How do I know if I need debt counselling?

Contact RD Debt Counselling for a free debt review today!