According to the NCA, it is the job of Debt Counsellors to ease the debt burden on consumers. This is done through a debt review or debt restructuring mechanism. Debt Counsellors are currently presented with a whole range of problems due to so many consumers being so severely over-indebted. What makes it even worse is that there are only a small number of competent Debt Counsellors in SA to assist these over-indebted consumers and get them back onto the road of debt recovery.
This gap creates a valuable career opportunity for many people to become Debt Counsellors. Earning a good living and helping out those in need! (For more information on the fees that apply, please see our below article “Earning money as a debt counsellor”. )
Amongst other criteria will need is a minimum qualification (attending and passing a 5 day training course) to meet the criteria of the National Credit Act in order to register as a Debt Counsellor with the National Credit Regulator. Now is the opportunity for you to join in this career of choice.
What Does a Career in Debt Counselling Entail?
Fundamentally, by having a career in debt counselling you can help those who are over-indebted to negotiate with credit providers and pay smaller instalments albeit a longer repayment period on the money they owe. By negotiating with the credit providers, they can look at reducing their total repayments. If no agreement is in place the matter will go to court to restructure their repayments or make a concession to oblige the credit providers to agree to the reduction.
Negotiating skills is therefore one of the key skills you will need to become a Debt Counsellor. Due to the fact that there are a lot of issues with those that are over-indebted, Debt Counsellors will also need to have empathy, patience and good listening skills to be able to help people cope with the situation.
Good administration skills are also vital, as debt counselling involves a large amount of paperwork, from negotiating with creditors to organising repayment structures.
You as a Debt Counsellor will interview consumers that have applied for debt counselling and will go through all the details of their credit history. In order to assess the consumers financial situation you will request supporting documentation from them. This information includes their name, surname, ID number, marital status, creditor details, account numbers, total amounts outstanding, monthly instalments as well as their monthly budget (income vs. expenditure)
You will be required to make recommendations based on the findings of the debt review in order to reduce their expenditure, assessing how much money they owe and calculate what funds are available to restructure their repayments and thus divide it amongst the creditors.
On average you will see four to five people a day if not more. After one or two sessions consumers can very well be back on track to financial health. With more serious cases that involves unplanned circumstances such as loss of employment that tend to exacerbate the situation usually takes longer to resolve.
When consumers are under debt review they will be flagged on their credit reports hosted by the credit bureau and will not be able to gain credit.
At times the debt counselling process can be difficult, but by assisting over-indebted consumers you will see your ‘patients’ on the road to recovery. It will be an ongoing process of education that will apply healthy financial choices to the consumer’s everyday life. Once the process is resolved, these consumers will intend to want to stay out of any debt that they are unable to cope with and enjoy their life…stress free.
Through helping those out of debt and promoting healthy financial lifestyle principles you will contribute to bettering South Africa’s current economy for future prosperity.
If you are interested in becoming a Debt Counsellor please contact Compuscan Academy on 021 888 6000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We are a registered NCR training provider.