Pro­tect your money

Vuk'uzenzele - - General -

CON­SUMERS NEED to make sure that the money lend­ing in­sti­tu­tion that they are deal­ing with is above board.

Ac­quir­ing a loan is easy but manag­ing your debt and en­sur­ing that you have a good credit record is much harder, es­pe­cially with the in­crease in the num­ber of dis­hon­est money lenders known as loan sharks.

Lyn­d­will Clarke from the Fi­nan­cial Sec­tor Con­duct Au­thor­ity (FSCA) said South Africans should avoid do­ing busi­ness with il­le­gal money lenders.

The FSCA, pre­vi­ously known as the Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices Board, is an en­tity of Na­tional Trea­sury re­spon­si­ble for pro­tect­ing cus­tomers fi­nan­cially.

Clarke said con­sumers should be pro­tected from il­le­gal money lenders which are peo­ple or en­ti­ties that of­fer credit with­out autho­ri­sa­tion from the Na­tional Credit Reg­u­la­tor (NCR).

The NCR pro­motes a fair and non-dis­crim­i­na­tory mar­ket for ac­cess to credit and reg­u­lates con­sumer credit.

Il­le­gal money lenders are also known as “mashon­isa” and they charge con­sumers ex­tremely high in­ter­est rates.

“In some in­stances loan sharks re­sort to vi­o­lence and in­tim­i­da­tion when col­lect­ing out­stand­ing debts. Loan sharks should be re­ported to the NCR and the South African Po­lice Service.

“Clients should also con­tact the NCR to ver­ify whether the in­sti­tu­tion is reg­is­tered as an au­tho­rised credit provider, in line with the Na­tional Credit Act,” said Clarke.

Also ad­vis­ing con­sumers to stick to a bud­get when it comes to ex­penses which must in­clude a ‘get out of debt plan’.

“Cut out un­nec­es­sary ex­penses and avoid us­ing credit cards. Rather try to save money and buy items with cash. Con­sumers must pay their debts in line with the agree­ment they made with the money lend­ing in­sti­tu­tion.”

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