How One Debt Counsellor Uses Debtfree Magazine to assist Consumers
Debtfree Magazine spoke to Debt Counsellor (and past contributor to Debtfree Special Print Edition) Annienne Nel of Consumer Debt Support (CDS) about why she likes Debtfree Magazine and how she uses it to inform debt-stressed consumers.
Annienne describes herself as a “friend” of the Magazine and is well known in the community for her real concern and efforts in regard to her clients. She has been in the industry for many years and is also an active supporter of the industry charity, Debt Counselling Community Support along with her own efforts on behalf of consumers.
We caught up with Annienne and asked her why she reads (and shares) Debtfree magazine.
Annienne:” Consumer Debt Support (CDS) is grateful for the invitation from Debtfree to share our thoughts on the value of a written guide about debt review, and we feel that’s what Debtfree Magazine really is.
A Guide to Financial Security
As friends of the monthly Debtfree Magazine, we are proud to be part of the Debt Control industry’s own special consumer printed edition as well as the monthly online magazine. The information in each issue always benefits all the industry role players and consumers.
Debtfree Magazine was founded about a decade ago by Debt Counsellor Zak King (who now acts as the Editor) because he had a passion to help consumers understand the (sometimes tricky) concept of debt review, how it works, and its impact on the individual and the family.
By consulting with creditor providers about what is important to them, Debtfree magazine helps to share their views and commitments in their efforts to try to support and assist their client’s in this very tough economy. After all, by taking part in debt review, credit providers not only receive payments on outstanding debt, but also help their clients.
The magazine regularly covers new High and Constitutional Court matters and makes these easy to understand for Debt Counsellors and their staff. It also offers information about all the industry associations such as the Debt Counsellor Association of South Africa (DCASA) and covers a lot of news about the National Credit Regulator (NCR). Most of this information is presented in such a way that everyone can benefit and not just those who work in the industry.
Print Editions and Online Subscriptions
Although the magazine is available online every month, Debtfree also does an occasional special print edition. The last printed edition was launched earlier this year (2018). This is something I really love.
An option web users have is to subscribe online (then you get an email invite to read the magazine each month when the new issue becomes available). The monthly magazine helps educate consumers to deal with only NCR registered debt counsellors and not get ripped off.
Debtfree Magazine has helped many consumers to save their homes and vehicles from repossession. When consumers start falling behind with debt payments due to this difficult economy, this guide will quickly assist in showing them what to do and where to look for help.
How the Print Magazine can help Consumers and inform them
When I think of the usual questions a potential client would ask, the majority of them are answered in the Special Print Edition of Debtfree Magazine. It is one reason why we like to send each client (or potential client) home with a copy.
Consumers want to know how debt review actually works
Does the debt counsellor take control of their income and give them spending money? Answers are published in this helpful guide, all the common questions are addressed and discussed to help consumers understand the process and assist in their decision making.
Finding a Good Debt Counsellor
One of the biggest problems facing consumers is trying to deal with their financial challenges all on their own. When they seek help, there is the risk of falling victim to an unregistered company or individual. The magazine contains educational articles which guide a consumer, who is faced with a financial challenge, to get help from a legally registered debt counselling service provider.
Debtfree Magazine Editor’s Note
Each issue’s (print or online) editor’s note, is based on an issue that consumers are faced with i.e. Creditors making consumers lives difficult when they do not honour their contracted debt obligations. Zak King and his team put a lot of effort into every new magazine, making sure to feature articles relating to consumers, debt counsellors and creditors, with fresh and helpful insights to the trending market. It is always current and topical.
The Debt Counselling Process
The recent printed Special Edition has a centre page with a user-friendly guide of how the process works and the contact details of good debt counsellor, registered with the National Credit Regulator (NCR). It is important to understand the entire process and where you are on your journey through debt review. Things like this mini poster in the Special Print Edition are very helpful and Debtfree has even made this poster available for companies to order and put up in their offices to help show consumers what to expect.
Debt Counsellor & Other Service Provider Information
Various experienced debt counselling companies and smaller companies (with good track records at the NCR) advertise in Debtfree magazine, and only registered debt counselling companies or registered individuals are featured each month. When seeking a good debt counsellor, this magazine helps consumers to find reputable debt counselling companies. The magazine, in particular, the monthly online magazine features up to date contact info for many credit providers and what is called their escalation processes when you need to complain or ask for additional help. This is a great resource.
Creditor Providers Love Debt Review & Debtfree Magzine
The banks have also come to realise the potential of a publication like Debtfree. They often share their own advice in selected adverts. When their clients struggle with repayments, it is nice to know that they share this information with them, they understand the tough economic times we live in. How Debt stress affects consumers: Easy to read information that struggling consumers can relate to, sharing this helps consumers realise they are not alone.
Absa, FNB, African Bank, Consumer Friend, and Nedbank consult with their clients about debt review and the consequences when they no longer can afford the debt repayments. These Creditors would not sponsor this magazine if they did not support the concept of debt review. They have witnessed the success of the industry, what it means to the consumer once they successfully exit the rehabilitation program once the debt is fully paid.
Information About PDAs
Payment Distribution Agents services help reduce consumer’s stress by partnering with debt counsellors and credit providers to get consumer’s payments to the right place, at the right time. Often articles in the online magazine discuss current developments in regard to PDAs. Recently a new PDA was registered and this was extensively covered in the online monthly version. This helps consumers know who they can trust, who is registered with the NCR and what PDAs can do to make consumer’s lives easier.
Getting out of Debt and Re-entering the Credit Market
The most common question asked by clients wanting to enter the program is how long will it take and when can I get out of debt review? This topic was extensively covered in the recent print issue and of course, depends on each consumer’s unique situation. The magazine explains more about how interest and fees work so you have an understanding of how long you can expect to be in debt review for and why.
Debtfree magazine is consumer friendly and a very helpful guide to financial matters, which helps consumers who are struggling to pay creditors – and at the same time provide for essential household expenses – to make the right decisions. Not knowing where to look for help is harder than any one can imagine.
Consumer Debt Support (CDS) distribute copies of the latest Debtfree print edition to various shopping centres in different areas for consumers to have access to debt counselling information. You can visit www.debtfreedigi.co.za to subscribe and download this free magazine, just hit that button for immediate access to a world of information about debt review, over-indebtedness, restructuring debts into one affordable consolidated payment system. Read about how creditors support the process; get tips and advice from them on how to deal with financial problems effectively, before it spirals out of control.
It has also been our pleasure to highlight Debtfree to our readers in our web blog. We love it. This is a nifty, nice and clean “go to” industry guide, available for free online (and annually in print) for consumers and debt counsellors.”
Visit us at www.debtcentre.co.za for our address details in Parow.