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Men having more trouble paying off debt

Cape Times logo Cape Times 2017-09-12 Nicola Daniels

A husband and wife are sitting in their home and are working on their budget and personal finances. © Getty/FatCamera A husband and wife are sitting in their home and are working on their budget and personal finances. Men are outstripping women in stacking up debt and then being unable to repay it, a recent survey done by debt counselling company Debt Rescue has shown.

The survey, which used a sample group of about 5 000 people, found that of the applicants who signed up to go under debt review in the second quarter of this year, 52% were men and 48% were women.

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Debt Rescue chief executive Neil Roets said the survey was showing a year-on-year increase of almost 25% in clients who wanted to go under debt review because they could not pay their accounts.

“In the first quarter, the stats from the latest National Credit Bureau Monitor showed that of the 24.68 million credit-active consumers, 9.69m had impaired credit records showing that they were behind with their repayments,” said Roets.

According to the Debt Rescue survey the most prevalent type of debt remained personal loans (27.99%), closely followed by credit card debt (23.77%).

Roets said: “The best advice I can give to my fellow South Africans is to try and live within their means. Avoid store cards and credit cards wherever possible.

“You’ve got to ask yourself the question: if I don’t have the money today, where is it going to come from in a few months time?

“Keeping up with the Joneses is always a bad idea and a good second-hand car is always a better idea than a spanking brand new.”

Meanwhile, economist Azar Jammine said the latest Transunion SA Consumer Credit Index has shown a decline in debt figures in general.

“In general terms, the improvement reflects in the number of outstanding debt repayments and a fairly substantial decline in inflationary pressures, which in turn have paved the way for lower interest rates.”

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