Debt Counsellor Profile: SEBASTIEN ALEXANDERSON
How long have you been a DC?
I have been working in the Debt Counselling business since 2005 mostly in the UK but for the last year, in Cape Town.
What did you do before becoming a DC?
I was at University.
What area (of SA) do you practice in?
We operate Nationwide and are based in Cape Town
Do you have a small/med/large DC company?
We have a medium sized company of about 100 strong.
What makes your business a success?
The People, our companies vision remains focused on team work, job satisfaction and a job well done.
Where do you find new business?
We have a number of websites and a contact centre fielding phone calls.
Who are your most co-operative and least co-operative credit provider at the moment?
Standard Bank are a pleasure to work with, ABSA are proving to be quite difficult at the moment.
What is the biggest challenge facing Debt Counsellors at the moment?
As Debt Counsellors our reputations are everything. We deal with sensitive information, often at sensitive times. As the industry grows more debt counsellors will come onto the scene and not all of them will be best suited to give the best advice. I believe our biggest challenge will be maintaining industry wide integrity within a growing market.
What is the biggest challenge facing your consumers at the moment?
As always, the biggest challenge facing consumers coming onto the debt review process is the ‘adjustment period’ or their first 6 months. Getting the clients proposals in place is easy, teaching the consumer to live without debt, how to deal with the debt collectors phone calls, switching banks and adjusting their lifestyles in order to accommodate their new situation is the real challenge.
What advice do you have for consumers under debt review?
Most people don’t become over indebted over night and a when it finally does happen it can become overwhelming. Taking the first step and joining the debt review program is the beginning to the road to recovery. The most important advice I can give is that if you decide to go onto Debt Review, make sure you finish. Right from the start don’t miss payments if in any way possible.