Every industry has bad practitioners – debt counselling is no exception

by | Mar 31, 2021 | Personal Finance

Debt can be debilitating – especially when debt collectors are hounding you day and night, you are making short payments ( or no payments at all ) on your debt – and you are just struggling to make ends meet from day to day. All while having to hold down a job and take care of the needs of your family.

If you are lucky, you will encounter a good debt counsellor. One who is registered with the National Credit Regulator and who is credible, compliant and committed to following all the processes to get you debt – free within 5 years or less.

If you are unlucky – you will meet the other type of debt counsellor. The fly-by-night one who preys on people when they are at their most financially and emotionally vulnerable.

Every industry has good and bad practitioners – and debt counselling is no exception. You find good doctors and bad doctors, good car mechanics and bad car mechanics – so it is extremely unfair to tarnish an entire industry on the bad service of a few. Yet, sadly this is what is happening in the debt counselling industry.

Sebastien Alexanderson, CEO of National Debt Advisors, SA’s leading debt counselling company has this to say on this issue: “I would be lying if I said that there were no bad apples in our industry. The fact that debt counsellors have been deregistered by the NCR and are prohibited from practicing, is proof of this, but it is hugely unfair to negatively smear an entire, regulated industry because of a few bad practitioners.

If someone chooses an incompetent plumber to fix a geyser leak, chances are they could run into more severe problems further down the line. The geyser could burst and end up doing huge damage to the entire household. The same applies to your finances. “

Alexanderson advises that it will stand consumers in good stead to seek out the services of a good debt counsellor:

  • who is registered with the NCR
  • whose company keeps an updated social media presence
  • has good reviews on sites like Hello Peter,
  • and one who deals with a registered payment distribution agency.


He adds :“I truly believe in the process of debt review. I sign huge batches of clearance certificates for our clients who have completed the process every week. I get to see how excited they are that their credit records are clear and that they have the chance to start their financial lives over. Debt review might not be the debt relief option for everyone as it isn’t a one-size-fits all solution, but it can –and has helped many South Africans who were at once stage in their lives, overwhelmed by their debt.”

Debt review is a viable option.

Debt review may or may not be the problem to your financial woes, but it should at least be an option to look into. If you have had a bad experience with a beautician, it doesn’t mean all beauticians are no good and you should stop looking getting your nails done. The very same applies to debt counselling. Do not let the incompetence of a few, tarnish the the entire industry – and stop you from getting your debt and finances under control.

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