The cost of debt counselling
The National Credit Regulator (NCR) has recently reminded consumers that debt counselling is not offered free of charge. It is imperative that consumers understand this and are aware of the costs upfront. According to the NCR has set debt counselling fees as follows:
- Application fee: fifty rand (R50.00), payable prior to commencing the assessment. Paid upfront and in full;
- Administration fee: three hundred rand (R300.00)per debt counselling application. Paid upfront and in full;
- Attorney fees: To be agreed upon with the attorney and communicated with the consumer when applying for debt.
- Restructuring fee is either equal to the distributable amount or a maximum fee of eight thousand rand (R8000.00) for a single applicant.
For consumers married in community of property, the restructuring fee is either equal to the distributable amount or a maximum fee of nine thousand rand (R9000.00).
The restructuring fee is a once off payable in month one (1)after the debt counsellor has drafted and submitted the restructuring documents.
- After the assessment, if the consumer or debt counsellor strongly feels that there is reckless lending,the consumer is liable to pay a once-off fee of one thousand five hundred rand (R1500.00);
- Aftercare fee: is payable monthly after month two (2)of the debt counselling service. The fee is equal to (five) 5% of the distributable amount up to a maximum fee of four hundred and fifty rand (R450.00);
- NCT Submission fee -Submission of the National Consumer Tribunal of R500 (excluding NCT filing fee);
- Once the restructuring process is complete, a consumer can either make their payments directly to their credit provider or through a registered Payment Distribution Agent(PDA); and
- Consumers should request a receipt from the debt counsellor upon payment of the application and administration fees. Debt Counsellors are prohibited from collecting and distributing debt counselling funds to credit providers.
Before signing up for debt counselling, consumers are advised to request information from their debt counsellor on how their debts will be restructured. Once signed up, consumers should also request to be given all debt counselling related documents such as their application form, restructuring proposal and court order.
The NCR has once again stressed the importance that debt counselling should only be done by a debt counsellor registered with the NCR and has a certificate that shows their names and their “NCRDC” number. Consumers have a right to demand to see this proof.
It is also important to have your debt counsellor’s contact details, names, physical address etc – readily available.
Consumers can get a list of all registered debt counsellors on www.ncr.org.za.Alternatively,consumers can call the NCR on 0860 627627
Very often debt counselling gets a bad name, not because of the process of debt review – but rather because of the unregistered, inept debt counsellor used.
National Debt Advisors is South Africa’s number one debt counselling company and we have helped thousands of over-indebted consumers become debt free, an able to start over.
If you are struggling with your monthly debt repayments or need any more information on debt counselling or it’s fee structure, please contact NDA today.