Interview With A Debt Counsellor: Winelands Debt Counsellor
Debt Counsellor Profile
Debtfree Magazine got to speak to long time Debt Counsellor Karl Schweidler who is based in the Western Cape. We got to ask him about how he got started as a Debt Counsellor and how he finds new clients. We also ask about some of the challenges facing Debt Counsellors and consumers under debt review.
Wineland Debt Counsellor
Cell: 082 716 7909
How long have you been a Debt Counsellor (as of 2021)?
I have been working in the industry for 11 years now.
What did you do before becoming a Debt Counsellor and why did you enter the industry?
I worked at ABSA for 20 years as what is called a ‘Risk Mitigation Officer’ and it broke my heart a lot when I had to fetch people’s assets. I was ready for a change to assisting people with debt.
What makes your business a success?
We have had success by building trustworthy, dedicated relationship with all our clients.
Where do you find new business?
Most of my new clients are people that have been told about debt review and recommended to us by our existing clients.
What challenges are you seeing coming from the credit provider side at the moment?
We still sometimes experience a lack of good communication and occasionally understanding by some staff at the credit providers.
What is the biggest challenge facing Debt Counsellors at the moment?
Debt Counsellors have also been affected by the Covid-19 Pandemic. Not just with the obvious health challenges but also many Debt Counsellors are having to take salary cuts and some are losing their jobs or unable to keep running their practice. Times are tough in every industry.
What is the biggest challenge facing your existing client consumers at the moment?
Sadly the loss of loved ones. In many cases where this is the breadwinner, this can result in them not being able to continue making the agreed payments (or even any payments). This is also true for those who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic and who do not have insurance cover for this.
In extreme cases, this can even lead to the debt review falling apart and they could face the loss of assets and all the progress they previously made in getting out of debt.
What advice do you have for consumers with debt stress due to the lockdown & Pandemic?
Seek financial advice at your bank as soon as you feel under pressure. Always feel free to contact a Debt Counsellor and chat. Don’t wait until it’s too late. The good news is that there is light at the far end of the tunnel.
What advice do you have for consumers already under debt review?
Communication is the key. Stay connected to your Debt Counsellor and keep those lines of communication open.