Lee Naik, CEO for TransUnion South Africa

CAPE TOWN - Trying to keep up with Black Friday bargain deals will leave you trapped in credit engagements that could have been avoided, says Lee Naik, CEO for TransUnion South Africa.

Naik said that Black Friday will see consumers depleting their credit card facilities as they overspend on bargain items they don't even need.

"As a consumer you should ask yourself one question: Do I really need to make this purchase," said Naik.

Naik further advised consumers to utilise their 13th cheques to finance their existing credits, instead of opening new credits for the festive season.

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According to TransUnion statement released early in November, the Consumer Credit Index dropped slightly to 53.9 in Quarter 3 from 54.1 in Quarter 2, because it remained above 50.0, this is an indication of some improvement in consumer credit health.

"This gives an insight that consumers are starting to be cautious and reverting to management of their debts," explained Naik.

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Naik emphasised that should consumers think of entering in any other credit obligations, they must first assess their current credit state.

Every consumer is entitled to free credit report each year, "a consumer can access this by phoning TransUnion at 086 482 482 or visit www.transunion.co.za," Naik concluded.

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Early this year, Edcon reported a  loss of 382 000 clients, blaming the National Credit Regulator’s new affordability regulations implemented last year. 

NCR said about 10-million South Africans were over-indebted, which meant they were unable to meet their financial obligations timeously.

CEO of Debt Rescue, Neil Roets said, "Debt counselling remains the best way for consumers to manage their debt load by negotiating with creditors and paying off their debt in smaller instalments over a longer period of time". 

- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE