Parents should teach their children about money at a young age

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As a parent, you have a significant impact on your child from a young age and set the standard for future behaviours. There are serious implications to consider when you realize that your child may pick up on your spending habits, especially when your relationship with money is not favourable. Money will always play a role in our lives, and it is much easier to avoid a money problem from developing in a loved one than it is to repair this kind of problem later on in life.

For a start, communication is a great way to educate children about the value of money in a household – if parents are on the same page and talk frankly about their finances as far as saving, spending and planning for the future are concerned, kids become much more aware of the important role that financial stability plays in our adult lives. Take the time to teach your young children about the value of money by letting them earn it – give them chores in return for pocket money, and then also guide them in managing their own pocket money – in the future, these seemingly unimportant practices will pay off and good habits will form in place of bad ones.

Studies have shown that money habits are formed in children before the age of 7. During these impressionable years, children are like sponges, taking in every little thing and developing accordingly – these are fundamental years, where habits (good or bad) can be learnt in minutes and impact the rest of a child’s life. Setting a great example for your children not only ensures that you yourself can enjoy a manageable financial setup, but also affords your children more opportunities as they lead by your example.

It is not uncommon to come by teenagers or young adults that are still uninformed about the importance of saving and spending within their means. Many kids have grown up knowing that a card can pay the way for them, or else have never had to work to earn anything – although giving in and spoiling children is easier than saying no, it is not doing them any favours as they will only realise these truths when they are older, suddenly facing their own bills and needing to maintain a job in order to make ends meet. In most cases where young adults are over indebted or blacklisted, one or both parents/caregivers can be linked by way of example.

If you are considering starting a family or already have small a child or children, now is the time to get your finances in order and ensure that your child learns from the best. As a parent, you have the unique power to instil good money habits in your child that you may never have had the opportunity to benefit from in your own upbringing – get in touch with our team of experts at Less Debt today to clear you and your child’s path to a more stable financial future.

Credit cards are convenient, but they can also make it easy to overspend

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It takes a certain amount of restraint to have a credit card and use it properly, especially when you find yourself under financial pressure or have a bad habit of overspending. Though it can be helpful in affording you a good credit score over time, a credit card has also been linked to a number of cases where individuals find themselves over indebted.

One common misconception made by consumers is that credit cards offer financial security – this line of thought is the reason why many individuals keep their credit card handy for a “rainy day” or “impromptu spending spree”, without acknowledging the implications involved in spending on a credit card without following a credit card plan or taking the time to think it through. Credit cards have very high interest rates and, when payments are missed, can lead to costly late fees, increased interest rates and a damaged credit score that can have a serious effect on your life. Credit cards often provide a false sense of security, especially when you as the consumer tend to overspend.

The general rule is simple – don’t spent money that you don’t have. In certain instances, credit cannot be avoided, however there are ways to avoid going down the wrong path and finding yourself missing payments or being overwhelmed by unexpected bills – don’t spend more than you can comfortably afford to pay back, and also make sure that you fully understand the interest rates and other terms and conditions involved before you start spending on your credit card.

Certain candidates applying for a credit card in South Africa, such as students with extensive student loans to their names, homeowners paying off property or individuals who have multiple debit orders coming off their account, are prime examples of individuals who should probably avoid credit cards altogether, or at least until they have more control over their current financial obligations. It is also not advisable that a consumer apply for a credit card to simply afford a large purchase or fun vacation – the convenience of “affording” these expenses upfront might seem great at first, but are likely to lead to a complicated habit of more overspending.

At Less Debt, we deal with countless clients who are facing credit card debt and offer viable solutions that can help pave the way to a debt free existence. Although credit cards are convenient at times, the idea of virtual money can make it easy to overspend or lose touch with reality. If you know that you have a tendency to overspend or are already in debt, it is better not to apply for a credit card at all.

Money Habits: Little Changes Make a Big Difference

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We have all been guilty of spending a bit too much money on occasion or during certain stages of our lives. When we are young and free of responsibilities and financial obligations, it is very easy for bad financial habits to form, however this is a mindset that needs to be revisited when your lifestyle and commitments change.

The golden rule for maintaining a healthy relationship with money is to never spend more money than you make. The amount that is left in your account after paying your rent/bond and covering your basic monthly expenses should be used carefully – if there is a something you really want to buy but cannot afford right away, rather consider saving up for a few months instead of getting an in-store card that is sure to have a high interest rate. The other problem with acquiring a store card with credit is the temptation to continue spending, knowing that you will only have to pay it back next month – over time, this bad habit will cause you to owe much more than you should, where you could be paying money back for years.

For any individual that struggles to resist the “urge to splurge”, any sort of credit card or store card should be avoided, as this will almost always lead to financial troubles down the line. Some people are able to control their finances, or are fortunate enough to live lavish lives, but for most South African consumers, affording to live comfortably is far from easy. Once you realise that your finances are causing you stress and taking a toll on your life, it is time to make changes to your spending habits that will allow you to avoid circumstances like becoming blacklisted or worse.

There are many ways that individuals can work on breaking bad spending habits. For one, drawing up a monthly budget will allow you to stick to a plan that ensures you will not run out of money. Another good idea is to stop taking out loans or applying for credit, especially when you are already unable to maintain your current financial obligations. Hold on to the feeling you get when you have put yourself in a bad place because of poor spending, and remember that feeling when you find yourself justifying an unnecessary purchase.

Less Debt offers professional advice and debt review to consumers who are struggling to manage their finances. Our team consist of experienced consultants who have one goal in mind – to help our valued clients overcome their current financial worries. All of our services are NCR (National Credit Regulator) approved and our straightforward and free online debt assessment is the first step taken in understanding the reality of your current financial situation.

Feeling overwhelmed by credit card debt?

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Credit card debt is very common in South Africa, with millions of consumers signing up every year. The reality of credit card debt is actually frightening, given that the interest rate on a credit card is very high, which in turn results in excessive monthly payments that become higher and higher with every purchase made.

One of the risks for the late payment of a monthly instalment due on your credit card is a late payment penalty, which can lead to certain credit providers increasing the standard interest rate. Other times, a late credit card payment can lead to a default, which will then result in your next monthly payment being doubled in order to make up the missed payment. For consumers struggling to provide for their families, pay rent or even get to work and back, missing a credit card payment could seem to be the only choice, however the repercussions can easily cause a person to feel overwhelmed, affecting everything from your health to your work performance and family’s wellbeing.

Although there are instances where credit cards can be helpful (especially so in cases where the payment can be made back in full that same month), credit card debt often leads to feelings of stress and uncertainty – at Less Debt, we offer consumers relief through a range of professional financial services. Start by enquiring with us for your free online debt assessment, or make use of our debt calculator to fully grasp your current financial circumstances, while also outlining the outcome of debt consolidation against your current expenses and salary.

Accepting that your credit card debt has become unsustainable is the first step. The next step is realizing that there is a way out. Debt review has proven to be a very effective and manageable solution for consumers who are dealing with the pressure of too much credit card debt. This form of relief involves breaking down all your debt and restructuring your monthly instalments to better suit your budget and improve your outlook on life. Through Less Debt, our clients can rest assured knowing that this process is secured by court order, while we are National Credit Regulator (NCR) accredited.

Another benefit of debt review is that you as the consumer will be protected from the repossession of your assets during the process, which can be devastating to your family and have long lasting effects on your credit score. Asset repossession (usually of your house, vehicle or furniture) is usually one of the last resorts followed by credit providers when debt is not paid back over a certain timeframe, with too many missed payments.

At Less Debt, we want you to pay back your credit card debt as soon as possible, and will draw up a repayment plan that is achievable and fair. Don’t wait till it’s too late, check in with us now and start looking forward to a happier and healthier financial mindset.

Do money worries keep you awake at night? Take control of your finances.

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Once you have made the conscious decision to take control of your finances, you have stepped over the line that divides bad financial choices from good ones. This invisible line is important and represent every excuse you have made in the past, for justifying poor spending habits or ignoring the impending financial repercussions you now face.

Financial stress is something most people will face, at some point in their lives. If you lie awake at night with a knot in your stomach about money, it is time to take control of your finances and begin the journey to a debt-free existence. Depending on the specific nature of your current financial situation, there are various actions you can take to improve your situation – all of these start with the simple decision to regain financial control and stop letting your debt define you. Our team of consultants at Less Debt are all too familiar with the financial strain faced by consumers in South Africa and we have aligned ourselves to provide you with the assistance you require.

By offering our clients a free online or telephonic consultation, we extend services that anyone with access to the internet or a phone can benefit from. Our service includes debt review, an effective solution for clients that need to consolidate debt without taking out a loan. This process will involve comprehensive insight into your current financial commitments, monthly debit orders and obligatory payments as well as income, with the goal in mind to renegotiate payment terms and interest rates with credit providers. By reducing your monthly payment amounts and extending the payment periods, you can live within your means while still paying back all your outstanding debt.

Our debt review services prove very beneficial, especially in cases where credit providers are threatening to repossess your valuable belongings (House; Vehicle or Furniture) or take legal action that can cause damage to your credit score. Debt review and a new payment plan can make a huge difference to your quality of life, by reducing the demands on your budget and improving your financial situation.

There are certain steps an individual needs to take responsibility for once Less Debt have provided services for a more comfortable financial set up. Some of the most important steps to follow include:

  • Stop borrowing money. Especially when the loan is to repay existing debt. Borrowing from Peter to pay Paul is just going to lead to a continued cycle of debt issues.
  • Create a monthly budget that is reasonable and include a small amount to put away each month into an emergency fund.
  • Always use any extra money to pay off existing debt quicker, rather than spend this money on unnecessary shopping sprees.
  • Stop using your credit card or clothing/grocery store accounts. With their high interest rates, every purchase costs you more than it should and puts you further in debt.

Check in with us today to start enjoying a good night’s sleep and a healthier outlook on your finances and your future. At Less Debt, we offer professional financial services that are NCR (National Credit Regulator) accredited and personalized to suit client’s unique requirements.

Consolidate debt, stress less and restore payments in arrears

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Being over indebted no longer holds the stigma that is once did and is now an all too familiar subject, faced by many. The truth is that the cost of living has become increasingly expensive for South African citizens, with good jobs proving harder and harder to find.

Acquiring debt often starts off by making a manageable decision to take out a loan or make use of credit card or store card for a purchase that is too much to cover at once. There could also be a medical bill or serious financial commitment that forces you to take out a loan that you would rather avoid. In truth, no one wants to take on debt with high interest rates and scary terms and conditions. However, life has a way of throwing curveballs when we least expect it. At Less Debt, we offer assistant to consumers who have become over indebted.

One of the key issues faced by our clients is the need to restore payments in arrears. Debt in arrears can result in a number of issues; from becoming blacklisted to facing legal action or possibly even having your personal assets repossessed (these assets could include your car, house or furniture). Our Less Debt team aim to keep you, your family and your most cherished items safe, while also providing you with a debt restructuring plan that will help you stress less and get back on track with your finances.

So, what exactly does a debt consolidation into one monthly instalment entail? At Less Debt we restructure your monthly debt payments into one affordable instalment which involves an in-depth debt evaluation by our financial team. Once Less Debt has established your situation in full and conducted the necessary steps, you will be able to pay off all of your payments in one single, lower monthly payment, rather than struggle with an array of unsecure and stressful debit orders coming off your account each month. All the debt that you owe will still be repaid by you; however they will come off one consolidated monthly payment that will enable you to manage your basic living expenses much more easily.

Avoid sleepless nights worrying about money and the repercussions that come with payments in arrears. Less Debt offers consumers a debt consolidation service that will make a huge difference in their lives. All our services are approved by the National Credit Regulator (NCR), while our process is secured by a court order and accepted by the National Credit Act (NCA). Once the debt review has been complete, our clients will be issued with a Clearance Certificate, which can then be supplied to various lenders, financial institutes and creditors.

At Less Debt, your financial security and peace of mind is our number one priority. Find out how we can assist you today by filling in our online enquiry for a free debt assessment.

Free Debt Assessment Service

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South Africans have the opportunity to start their journey to a debt-free, financially stable existence by enlisting the services offered by Less Debt. Our services prioritise the unique needs of our clients and are accredited by the National Credit Regulator (NCR).

As consumers living in a world that becomes increasingly expensive and demanding on our budgets, the reality of debt is one that many of us are all too familiar with. Becoming over indebted is not an overnight process – it could start with a student loan or a few convenient clothing store accounts or could be the result from poor planning and living beyond your means. Often the result of abusing a credit cards or spending irrationally without realising that there will be implications. It is important to maintain a lifestyle that is suited to your budget, minimizing unnecessary loans with high interest rates and keeping the splurging to a minimum.

At Less Debt, our free debt assessment service allows those facing financial difficulties to fully grasp the extent of their situation and start planning a way forward. Our website also offers clients use of an online debt calculator.

For some, making it through the month while paying off numerous loans and repayments has become unrealistic, while for others a tough situation may have led to financial commitment that have proven to be unsustainable, resulting in missed payments and a poor credit score. Either way, there are solutions that can be identified and utilized once a client receives the results of our free debt assessment.

Less Debt’s free debt assessment allows individuals to take control of their finances, guided by our team of qualified experts. Many times, our team can assist with the debt review process to help consumers have their debt consolidated into one affordable monthly premium. This comprehensive assessment will determine exactly how much debt is owed and to which creditors and institutes.

By understanding the details of a client’s free debt assessment, our Less Debt team can easily determine a client’s unique requirements and present a plan of action and debt repayment plan that is manageable and fair. Individuals under debt review are protected from legal action, allowing for the full focus to be on recovering financial stability and becoming debt free.

To make use of our services complete your contact details on our website and we will contact you with a plan of action.

Are you in too much debt?

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There is a fine line that can easily be crossed when it comes to financial security and sound decision making where finances are involved. For many, the relief of loans and repayment plans extending over an agreed upon amount is a lifesaver, while for others the reality of being over indebted is all too familiar.

What is it that separates those with reasonable financial obligations and repayments from those who simply have too much debt?

Becoming over indebted does not just happen, but rather escalates over time. From one bad decision to the next. In most cases, individuals who need to ask the question “am I over indebted?” already know the answer.

Our Less Debt team share a few common indicators of being over indebted.

One of the first signs of being in too much debt is losing touch with your financial reality and avoiding the truth. This leads to not knowing how much is owed and not being able to keep track of all your monthly repayments, creating blurred lines. When your debit orders and loan repayments are spread thin, it becomes necessary to keep track and always make sure that your loans do not get the better of you.

Another indicator of being over indebted is skipping bills or paying bills late because your budget is too tight. Having debt that you cannot comfortably afford to pay back almost always has bad consequences. Once this point is reached, it is important to make difficult decisions such as a change in lifestyle or undergoing debt counselling, in order to move forward successfully. Many over indebted individuals will go to great lengths to hide from their debt problems, by avoiding phone calls and emails from debt collectors.

Many times, those who are over indebted find themselves borrowing money from friends and family in order to make monthly payments, having already used up any savings they might have had. This is usually the last resort and is definitely a sign of having too much debt, as no financial institutions would be borrowing money to individuals that are already unable to meet their current financial repayments.

Apart from the above and more obvious signs of having too much debt, individuals who are over indebted are more prone to depression. Weighed down by the constant stress and seemingly never-ending cycle of financial distress. This affects sleep and also affects performance at work, leading to further complications. Many who struggle with being over indebted hide it from their loved ones, which places strain on relationships as the cycle continues over time.

At Less Debt, we offer debt review services, in order to assist those who are over indebted. By providing result-driven and personalised debt repayment plans, we can help our clients achieve a debt-free existence over time. Find out how we can assist you by getting in touch with our Less Debt team today.

Consolidation Loan vs Debt Review

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You have fallen into Debt! With the rising cost of living who can blame you? What is your options? Consolidation Loan? Debt Review (Debt Counselling)?
Let’s compare the two options.

Meet Miss G. She earns a Nett Income of R7 500 per month and must pay R6 005.28 per month on her debt instalments. As you can imagine Miss G was struggling monthly to put food on her table. She had to get out of her debt situation as soon as possible.

To settle her debt, she needed a consolidation loan of R45 772.58.

The problem was that she was already over-indebted and couldn’t qualify for another loan.

Her only option was Debt Review.

Now to compare.

If Miss G could qualify for a consolidation loan of R45 772.58 her payment per month would have been R2 871.50 per month for a period of 24 months with an interest rate of 27.5%. She would have paid back a total amount of R68 916.00 over the 24-month period.

This is how Debt Review helped Miss G.

Firstly, we negotiated with her creditors to reduce her monthly instalments from R6 005.28 to R3 176.41 per month and her average interest rate from 24.55% to 9.68%. She settled her debt within 19 months. Want to guess how much she paid to her creditors over that 19 months period? Only R51 456.62.
Now compare that to the consolidation loan total repayment. She saved a massive amount of R17 459.38 on interest and monthly fees.

Consolidation Loan or Debt Review?
Which one is better?
You can decide…

The problem with “borrowing from Peter to pay Paul”.

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Keeping up with never-ending debt cycles can cause serious long-term effects on your financial security and leave you (and those who depend on you financially) facing difficult consequences. Sadly, the accumulation of debt does not happen all at once but rather gradually over a period of time – before you know it, you are “robbing Peter to pay Paul”, while actually robbing yourself more than anyone else.

With a large percentage of South Africans finding themselves indebted in some way, it is not hard to understand why so many of us find ourselves in the throes of unforeseen financial turmoil. Statistics show that 60% of the population struggle to meet their monthly payments on home loans, vehicle finance and credit cards. In some cases where it becomes impossible to pay back outstanding debt in time, making more debt by taking out a loan payment seems like the only choice. If this is you right now, stop and consider your options by enlisting the services and knowledgeable expertise of Less Debt.

Making more debt or taking out a large personal loan to pay off urgent outstanding bills is rarely a good idea. It only means that you are replacing one debt with another debt and adding more years of repayments to your already over extended account. At the end of the day, you will be drained not only of your money but also of your health and mental wellbeing. By taking out more and more debt and struggling with monthly payments, you could find yourself face higher interest rates, various penalties and even late fees with the potential of being blacklisted.

So, how can you avoid the notorious “robbing Peter to pay Paul” cycle when your finances are overwhelming you? Firstly, it is important to understand the need to always pay bills on time, no matter what. Don’t take out loans you can’t afford or open accounts you know will only make things harder in the coming months, especially one-month loans or pay day loans. A quick fix is not the way to go because the cost of living is rising continuously, meaning more rapidly growing payments if you always use making debt as a way out.

To eradicate the constant woes and worries bought on by ever-increasing debt; avoid more monthly payments and unplanned loans at all costs! Our professional team at Less Debt offer a solution to those struggling to change their lives and improve their finances.

With debt review your monthly debt payments can be reduced with up to 50%. Find yourself finally able to breathe again, knowing that there is an end in sight. Check in with one of our friendly and professional debt consultants today.