The news is full of warnings to consumers to be vigilant about getting into debt. However, the truth is that many South Africans don’t qualify for a personal loan from the bank, but urgently need to borrow money.
You just need to visit Google and type in ‘loan’ or ‘personal loans’ in order to see the quick fixes coming in; these ads offer all sorts of convenient, instant and easy fixes to your financial issues.
The more worldly-wise will know their scams from their legitimate companies, but there are many who will get sucked in, only to end up as the victims of fraud and far poorer than they were in the beginning.
You can avoid getting exploited by loan sharks with the following tips:
The best thing is to adjust your spending altogether so that you are living within the boundaries of what you can afford. Follow this by paying off your debt and putting together a budget that you can stick to. But if you find yourself too deep in debt and can’t see a way to pay it off, consider a debt counsellor. There are many around the country who can help with advice on becoming financially healthy and set you on the right pathbefore you sign any ‘loan’ agreements.
If you have fallen victim to one of these scams, complain in writing to the Credit Ombudsman at firstname.lastname@example.org.