Cape Town - Speaking directly to men and their money, the National Credit Regulator (NCR) has cautioned that all money-making schemes aimed at increasing household income may not be a good idea.
The total outstanding consumer credit balances (or gross debtors book) as at March 2021 was R2.04 trillion. The amount represents money that South Africans owe in terms of credit which is made up of, among others, mortgage bonds, vehicle finances, credit cards, personal loans and store cards.
“Although we do realise that financial problems are not gender specific, in celebrating Men’s Month in July, the NCR calls on all men to be financially savvy and take control of their finances.
“At times, men try to increase their family household income by participating in different money-making schemes such as stokvels, online trading, gambling, investments, excessive usage of their credit cards and so on,” said Anne-Carien du Plooy, the NCR acting manager for education and communication.
The attempts at making extra cash could also make men vulnerable to scams.
“While trying to increase household income, some men find themselves falling prey to fraudsters or taking on more than they can chew. Some men accumulate a lot of debt and become vulnerable to scammers, where they will be paying money upfront with a promise of being given a loan or leave their IDs documents with credit providers in order to get a loan.”
Du Plooy advised men with financial problems to have the courage to seek professional advice.
There were debt relief measures available such as negotiations with credit providers for lower instalments, debt counselling, the use of credit life insurance for those who qualify and so on.
The NCR conducts consumer education workshops at no charge. If male groups/organisations would like the NCR to conduct workshops for them on the National Credit Act which covers, among other topics, consumer rights, budgeting, credit information and credit bureaus, debt counselling and repossession, they can contact the NCR at 0860 627 627, [email protected] or [email protected].
A few tips for men to remain financially savvy:
· Avoid using credit cards to buy food, alcohol and so on.
· Compile a monthly budget and stick to it.
· Cut unnecessary expenses from your budget.
· Make provision for savings in your budget.
· Seek professional help if you are battling with debt.
· Use only registered credit providers. You can verify their registration with the National Credit Regulator on www.ncr.org.za
· Do not give your personal details such as ID number, baking details and so on to strangers.