Prescribed Debt

by | Jun 3, 2020 | Personal Finance

You don’t have to pay old debt!

Did you know that you don’t have to pay “old debt”?
Well, if you didn’t – I don’t blame you. Most South Africans don’t know their rights with regard to debt.

So what is old debt? The correct financial term for old debt is prescribed debt –and debt is deemed to be prescribed when:

  • you have not acknowledged it, either verbally or in writing in the past 3 years
  • you have not made a promise to pay, or even paid the smallest amount towards this debt within the past 3 years
  • And when your creditor has not taken legal action against you for this debt within the last 3 years,


Store and retail accounts, cellphone accounts ,credit cards,personal loans, gym memberships and and monies owing on vehicle finance – are all debts which do prescribe after 3 years.

However, homeloans, court- ordered debt (judgements) SARS taxes, traffic fines, tv licences and municipal accounts only prescribe after 30 years.

Please, do not view the above information as encouragement to ignore or not pay what you owe. Paying your debt is the right thing to do, especially if you can afford it.

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