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Debt Review Awards Round Up: Debt Counsellors

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All the Golden Piggy Pank Debt Counsellor Winners

The Annual Debt Review Awards show was held in September 2021.

The highest rated Debt Counsellors in 5 different size categories were announced for 2021.

Each year, after an industrywide peer review, the results of the peer reviews are announced during the annual Debt Review Awards Gala (or online show during the pandemic). The per review process helps identify the top rated debt counselling practices in South Africa as reviewed by credit providers.

Due to the various different size practices that exist in debt review (from a one person operation to dozens of Debt Counsellors working under the same brand) the peer review results are announced in the following size categories:

  • Boutique
  • Small
  • Medium
  • Large
  • National

No one type of operation receives more recognition than another rather the process tries to compare apples with apples and oranges with oranges. 

To find out who made the top 10 in each size category head over to the Debt Review Awards website HERE

On the day of the Awards, the Top 5 rated Debt Counselling practices are announced and the highest rated receives a Golden Piggy Bank Award. The piggy bank is an international symbol for saving and this is definitely what Debt Counsellors help consumers do. They help them not only save on fees and extra charges but they also help financially troubled consumers retain or save their assets like cars and homes.

This year the Top 5 Debt Counsellors and highest rated in the various sizes looks like this:

Top 5 in alphabetical order:

Alice Lubbe | Care for Debt
Johan Wepener | Johan Wepener Debt Counsellors
Lee Lombard | Garden Route Debt Counsellors
Lee-Ann Sansom | CIDA – Capes Independent Debt Advisors
Petra Swanepoel | Streamline Debt Counselling

Boutique Debt Counsellors have reputation for paying close attention to their clients and providing fast turn around times. This year the highest rated Debt Counsellor in this Top 5 group was Lee Lombard of Garden Route Debt Counsellors.

Top 5 in alphabetical order:

Andre Carelse | AC Debt Counsellors
Joy Victoria Minnies | Debt Quest
Karl Schweidler | Wineland Debt Counsellor
Margaret Bekker | Help U Debt Counsellors
Shaun Zeelie | Master Your Money

There are many smaller Debt Counselling practices in South Africa with many possible candidates for the Top 5. This year Shaun Zeelie (a previous winner) took top honours in this category for his work under the brand Master Your Money.

Top 5 in alphabetical order:

Awie Coetzee | SA Debt Help
Eugene Cilliers | Pay Plan Solutions
Gerhard Stoltz | Gerhard Stoltz Debt Counsellors
Russell Dickerson | RD Debt Counselling
Tania Dekker | Debt Free with Armani

Medium sized Debt Counsellor practices commonly have 2 or 3 Debt Counsellors working along with a team of admin assistants. They often share an office (or work remotely together) and share staff resources. Well organised operations can provide clients with a balance of personalised attention and resources to pursue complicated matters or deal with challenges that come along during the review process.

This year Mr Russell Dickerson, who is currently the Debt Counsellors of South Africa Chairperson, once again took the top spot for the second time in two years. Russell is well known for his hard work with the association and in supporting fellow Debt Counsellors. It seems the credit providers also recognise his hard work in looking after his clients as well.

Top 5 in alphabetical order:

Credit Matters
DCGsa
Debt Care
Debt Therapy
Summit Financial Partners

Large Debt Counselling practices are defined in the review process as those that have over 1000 clients and less than 4000 client. These are growing practices that are taking on many new clients each month and are traditionally very proactive in their branding and advertising.

Most of the names in the Top 5 will be familiar to anyone involved with the industry and often these practices take the lead in local Debt Counsellor initiatives and associations as they try to improve the industry and promote the debt review process.

This year DCGsa (Debt Counselling Group South Africa) who are based primarily in the Eastern Cape took home the Golden Piggy Bank Award. 

As you can see mentioned below (in Afrikaans)

 

 

Top 5 in alphabetical order:

DEBTBUSTERS
DEBT RESCUE
NATIONAL DEBT ADVISORS (NDA)
NATIONAL DEBT COUNSELLORS (NDC)
OCTOGEN

The make up of the Top 5 National Debt Counselling practices remained the same as in 2020 showing a high level of consistency. These practices have many, many thousands of clients and operate with large teams of cooperating Debt Counsellors and their admin staff. The various Debt Counselling practices in the top 10 in this size category have helped over 80% of the people who have ever made effective use of the debt review process. All have a good reputation for engaging closely with credit providers and actively trying to promote debt review and ongoing improvements in the debt review process.

For a number of years, household brand, DebtBusters retained the top spot in this size category. In 2020 they were replaced by National Debt Advisors (NDA). This year DebtBusters were able to regain the top spot and once again take home the Golden Piggy Bank.

Debt Review Awards Founder (and our editor) Mr Zak King says: “It is always nice to see who has received the highest ratings by their credit provider peers. We wait to hear the results each year with great anticipation. It is like our industry’s Oscars”. Zak and several members of the Debtfree team and other volunteers have been organising the event ever since 2014.

He also says: “It is appropriate that extra recognition goes to those who take home the 5 Golden Piggy Banks. It is worth mentioning, however, that all those who made the Top 10, making up 50 different debt counselling practices, should be really proud. There are hundreds of Debt Counsellors in the country and to be recognised from among all these very hard working individuals and practices is a real achievement”.