Local newsNews

#YouthDebtCrisis – ‘A cause for concern’

Bank says they are concerned at the number of young people already in debt.

Recent press reports indicate South Africans are suffering from the effects of the highest unemployment rate since September 2003.

According to Alfred Ramosedi, African Bank Group Executive: Sales and Marketing, of the 433 000 people joining the unemployment statistics, a staggering 58 per cent are young people between the ages of 15 and 34.

He said the Credit Ombud’s office recently carried out a survey with 250 young people and confirmed that there is indeed reason for concern.

Alfred agreed, saying that when one considers that youth unemployment is sitting at 34,2 per cent, it is indeed concerning, as this is the time when financial discipline really needs to start being embedded. The survey shows that most of these young people already have debt and have opened accounts from as young as 18 years of age.

“We are concerned to see just how many people from the report are taking out credit to fund their lifestyles and are not even aware that they are already blacklisted by the Credit Bureau,” he said.

Alfred shares the concern of Lala Mohan from the Credit Ombud’s office about how this irresponsible spending and credit behaviour will impact on the youth’s ability to secure future employment.

“We know from our own records how many prospective employers will check credit profiles as part of the recruitment process and it is highly concerning to think many of these talented young people may lose out on their dream position because of the way they are currently mismanaging their funds. Swiping your credit card for all sorts of unnecessary and extravagant purchases may be a lot of fun, but beware … it can ruin your life,” he said.

Alfred went on to say that overspending leads to a poor credit score. He explained that everyone has a credit score, which reflects how reliable or unreliable you are when it comes to keeping up with your monthly payments. A credit score is based on how many accounts and credit cards you have opened, the total value of your debt and how you repay your debt.

“If you neglect your repayment commitments you could be in for a nasty surprise later in life. No financial institution is going to grant you a loan if you have a history of bad debt.”

Since June is Youth Month, African Bank has offered these tips to help you get back on the right track and out of debt:

• Check your credit profile: You can do your own credit check free of charge every 12 months through one of several credit bureaux such as:

TransUnion – 086 148 2482

Experian – 086 110 5665

Xpert Decision Systems (XDS) – 086 112 7334

Compuscan – 086 151 4131

• Know your debt: Understanding your debt is the first step towards getting rid of it. List your credit card debt, your monthly debit orders and various other amounts that you owe. Set deadlines for yourself and ensure that you pay more than the minimum amount that is due. This will ensure that you knock down some of your interest and make a dent in the total amount that you owe.

• Don’t ignore your creditors: If necessary, negotiate with your creditors and come up with a mutually agreed payment plan. Once you have this plan in place, ensure that you pay off the required amount in full and on time. By missing just one payment, you could instantly destroy the progress that you’ve made on your score. If you know that you will not be able to make a payment on time, it is essential that you notify your creditors immediately.

• Start budgeting: As a reformed spender, you will need to ensure that you include budgeting in your future financial planning. Although it may take some practice, it is imperative that you start practising smarter spending habits. Jot down your monthly budget and stick to it!

“It is never too late to begin working towards an improved credit profile and becoming financially independent. After all, it could be the difference between you being able to purchase your dream house, finance a vehicle, pay emergency medical expenses or pay back your study loan one day. It’s important to track, describe, budget and plan every month. Remember it’s the fixed expenses, like rent, car payments and study loan repayments that are easy to work out. It’s the flexible expenses, like food, clothing and entertainment, which are often the money-gobblers and which need the most scrutiny and discipline,” said Alfred.

Do you perhaps have more information pertaining to this story? Email us at randfonteinherald@caxton.co.za  (please remember to include your contact details in the email) or phone us on 011 693 3671.

For free daily local news on the West Rand, also visit our sister newspaper websites

Roodepoort Record

Krugersdorp News 

Get It Joburg West Magazine

Remember to visit our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages to let your voice be heard!

Related Articles

Back to top button