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Do You Really Need Debt?

There are around 59 million people in South Africa. It is said that out of those people 15 Million are employed. Many others are self employed and finding ways to make ends meet.


Everyone Has Debt

24 Million South Africans are credit users (so, around 1 in every 3). Out of those 24 million, around 40% are behind on debt repayments by 3 months or more. Many others have missed a payment or two as they struggle to decide who to pay this month with the income they receive.

7 Million people have credit cards and on average owe R20 000 each.

6.7 Million have personal loans and owe on average R45 000 each.

And those are just the loans in the ‘formal’ sector which reports to the NCR and does not cover loans to family members of local Mashonisas 

Having a look at those figures you may well feel that, if you are a credit user and you owe a lot of money, then you are a “normal” South African credit user. And you would be right.

‘many people will live in debt their whole lives, never paying off their credit cards and always taking on more loans to pay off previous loans’

It is normal in South Africa to borrow money. It is normal to take a really long time to pay off your debts and many people will live in debt their whole lives, never paying off their credit cards and always taking on more loans to pay off previous loans.

‘is it silly to ask if you really need debt?’

So, then is it silly to ask if you really need debt?

Surely, based on those stats, you need debt just to get by in South Africa.


Not Everyone Has Debt – You Just Think They Do

Going to those stats again you will soon realise that if there are 59 million people in SA and only 24 Million credit users then 35 Million South Africans are not making use of credit from the banks and stores. That means more people don’t use credit than do.

It is just likely that all your friends and people that you work with make use of credit. And wise credit use is often a way to access things (that you ca afford over time) now rather than having to wait for them.

However, it is simply not true that everyone has debt. Millions of South Africans live debt free every month.


You Need Debt – And Other Lies We Tell Ourselves

While it is true that access to credit can fast track access to goods and services that you want or need, the question is: do you really need debt?

If more than all South Africans are living without debt then it seems that No, you don’t need debt. Most of the people with debt have made the choice to make use of credit to get things now instead of waiting for them. They do this to support their lifestyle choices or to get access to things like a bond or vehicle finance.

Is it possible to successfully live without debt? Is it possible to use credit wisely?

As you have already seen many people do not have debt and debt stress as part of their lives. Millions and millions of South Africans are living debt free. So, be sure to read this month’s issue of Debtfree Magazine as we delve deeper into this topic and look at some of the other lies we tell ourselves.








Be sure to read about more Debt Delusions in this month’s issue of Debtfree Magazine.