NCR Try To Promote Responsible Borrowing
The National Credit Regulator (NCR) has been busy communicating with the media asking them to spread the word to consumers that if they are going to borrow money this month (Jan is a tough month to get through) that they should do so wisely.
The current NCR campaign points to many factors pushing consumers towards borrowing more money such as the 2018 VAT increase, Petrol and cost of living increases, as well as, bad spending habits in December (Party, Party, Party).
The NCR are advising consumers to only borrow from NCR registered credit providers and not illegal loan sharks and are trying to help educate consumers about the fees (initiation, service fees etc) and maximum rates that these registered credit providers can charge.
Mortgages Max Interest Rate allowed: 18.75% per annum;
Credit facilities (like credit cards, overdrafts) Max Interest Rate allowed: 20.75% per annum;
Personal loans Max Interest Rate allowed:27.75% per annum;
Short-term loans Max Interest Rate allowed: 5 % per month on the first loan then 3% per month on subsequent loans;
Vehicle finance Max Interest Rate allowed: 23.75% per annum
These maximum rates are all linked to the repo rate which is currently sitting at 6.75%. If you are paying the absolute maximum then maybe you got a bad deal and should shop around for a more affordable credit provider in the future? True, credit providers can be greedy and try to milk you for every cent they can but only if you don’t shop around.
‘ask for the legally required pre-agreement or quotation from credit providers which must show the total cost of credit’
The NCR is also trying to educate consumers to ask for the legally required pre-agreement or quotation from credit providers which must show the total cost of credit. And they are advising consumers not to rush into taking on credit before they are sure of the obligations.
No Mention Of Debt Review
The current media campaign does not make mention of seeking professional debt counselling help if the consumer is over-indebted (it rather focuses on the +-50% of consumers who are not already over-indebted). These consumers would not be able to access more credit easily or legally in any case as an affordability assessment by any credit provider should reveal that the consumer is over-indebted.