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Editor's Note

Outlook can make a big difference. Two groups of people can be presented with the same set of circumstances and yet feel totally different.

This is often true of those entering debt review. Some who are in debt review complain they cannot get access to more debt. Others are actually grateful they can’t get deeper into trouble. They are tired of sinking deeper and deeper into debt. 

Both face the same restrictions or circumstances and yet have different outlooks.

I recently got to attend an industry event with lots of Debt Counsellors. At first, it seemed similar to many other such events but after a little while I began to notice something different. It was hard to put my finger on at first and only by lunch time had I figured out what was so different. Everyone seemed very optimistic and upbeat.

Now, that is not to say that Debt Counsellors are dour people. No, such meetings are often fun but the tone can tend towards looking at problems and being somewhat frustrated about one issue or another. With this event and the bubble of conversation going on it was clear that something had shifted. For most it was the mention of Task Team 2.0.

For those who do not know what that is, this issue of the magazine has a bit of a look back at the 2009 NCR Task Team about debt review and a new Task Team that has been launched to tackle some industry challenges. Now the Task Team has not yet accomplished anything as yet but still, the prospect of some quick wins on serious industry matters seemed to have lifted people’s spirits. They just seemed to have a more positive outlook.

Then a few days after the event I spoke to someone I have worked with for many years and he seemed more pessimistic than ever (I am a bit of an optimist myself in general). He is really passionate about the industry but worries a lot about the challenges he sees.

Same set of circumstances but different outlooks. It will be interesting to see if the new Task Team turns his frown upside down.

In this issue, we do look at some things that are a bit worrying unfortunately, like Eskom’s plans and how that is likely to hit your pocket in the months ahead. We also have some good stats about debt review, news, reviews and some less good information about what feels like a bit of a smear campaign against debt review right now. You may have seen in the press that not everyone is super positive about debt review right now but we consider why that may be.

If you work in the industry, you may have noticed a few more requests for you to complete one of the Debt Review Awards peer reviews recently. The in-depth reviews are on the go and we want to thank everyone who is taking part. They only take a couple of extra minutes but really do help identify those who are going above and beyond.

If you have participated in the past or visited the Awards website then you will know some of the criteria that are used to evaluate different parties. We do not want these shrouded in mystery and want to make sure everyone knows how everyone is evaluated each year. We have organised a 3 part series in the magazine (over this and the next two issues) that discuss these in a bit more depth. Be sure to also visit the YouTube Channel and Awards website from time to time where you can catch some videos about the criteria as well.

Debt review works and has helped hundreds of thousands of people deal with their debt successfully. Debt review is currently putting over R1.5 Billion back into credit providers pockets each month. Amazing!

Credit providers have a shocking serious drop off rate of around 37.6% in their business right now. That’s people who have taken credit but end up 3 months behind on payments (the rate for those missing one payment is even higher). These millions of people need options. They need hope. They probably need debt review.

So, if you are in the process then only YOU get to decide whether you focus on the positives or negatives of debt review. We suggest focusing on the positives, naturally. It will make you happier. But love it or hate it please do make your debt repayments this month. You will find that the light at the end of the tunnel gets brighter and brighter every time you take a step closer to being debt free.