Shopping around for better Debt Review installments?

Updated: Mar 11

Author - Lauren Heekes


Here are some examples and also some other things that you should consider before accepting a Debt Review installment.

Debt Review, Debt Counselling, Debt Management
Debt Review, Debt Counselling, Debt Management
Should you be shopping around for better Debt Review Installments?

Clement’s Story


In July 2019 Clement took out a R150,000.00 loan with African Bank at an interest rate of 25% over 24 months. His installment was R8,450.00 per month. The installment included Credit Life Insurance of R375.00 and an admin fee of R69.00.


In May 2020 Clement’s income was reduced by his employer due to the knock on effects of the Lock Down and his company was not sure when they could go back to paying his normal income.


Clement approached 4 different Debt Counsellors for an assessment to see what reduced installment and interest rate they would offer him per month:


1. Debt Counsellor 1 – Offered an instalment of R5,000.00.

2. Debt Counsellor 2 – Offered an instalment of R4,000.00.

3. Debt Counsellor 3 – Offered an instalment of R3,000.00.

4. Debt Counsellor 4 – Offered an instalment of R2,000.00.


It makes sense that Clement would go with Debt Counsellor number 4 right?


Wrong. Here’s why?


Send Your Questions to Negociate Credit Solutions at email contactme@negociate.co.za or get additional contact information below for online assessments, facebook messenger or submit a "Call back Request"

Debt Review, Debt Counselling, Debt Management

Debt Counsellor 1

After assessing Clement's budget and affordability there was R5,000.00 left to go towards his Debt Review Installment.


1. Total installment R5,000.00

2. The Credit Life insurance = R375.00

3. The Admin Fee of R69.00 falls away under Debt Review.

4. The Debt Counsellor’s Fee = R250.00

5. Fee to distribute the installment to African Bank = R15.00.

6. This left R4,360.00 which would go to African Bank as an installment.


The Debt Counselling system generated the following assessment:

R5,000.00 at 19% over 50 months.


Problem – this Debt Counsellor left no additional money in Clement’s budget for fluctuations in cost of living and unforeseen expenses. As Clement has no access to credit under Debt Review he will probably be unable to service his Debt Review installment when an unforeseen expense occurs. His interest rate is also quite high if you compare it to what he is currently paying.


Send Your Questions to Negociate Credit Solutions at email contactme@negociate.co.za or get additional contact information below for online assessments, facebook messenger or submit a "Call back Request"

Debt Review, Debt Counselling, Debt Management

Debt Counsellor 2

After assessing Clement's budget and affordability there was R4,000.00 left to go towards his Debt Review Installment.


1. Total installment R4,000.00

2. The Credit Life insurance = R375.00

3. The Admin Fee of R69.00 falls away under Debt Review.

4. The Debt Counsellor’s Fee = R200.00

5. Fee to distribute the installment to African Bank = R15.00.

6. This left R3,410.00 which can go to African Bank as an installment.


The Debt Counselling system generated the following assessment:

R4,000.00 at 7% over 50 months.


Why this works – This Debt Counsellor allocated an additional R1,000.00 to expenses like rent, petrol, groceries and municipal bills as well as contingency expenses. Why? These expenses fluctuate over time.


African Bank gets a fair interest rate and the debt settles in 50 months which is well within the guidelines provided by the Credit Providers and National Credit Regulator i.e. 60 months for large unsecured loans.


Clement can manage his budget better. The Credit Provider is happy and the Debt Counselling fees are lower.


Send Your Questions to Negociate Credit Solutions at email contactme@negociate.co.za or get additional contact information below for online assessments, facebook messenger or submit a "Call back Request"

Debt Review, Debt Counselling, Debt Management

Debt Counsellor 3

Debt Review, Debt Counselling, Debt Management

After assessing Clement's budget and affordability the Debt Counsellor generated an installment of R3,000.00. He decided he wasn’t going to tell Clement about the terms or the interest rate for this installment under Debt Review. All the Debt Counsellor wanted was for Clement to sign the application. The Debt Counsellor was only interested in making more money.


His assessment went as follows:

1. Total installment R3,000.00

2. The Credit Life insurance = R375.00

3. The Admin Fee of R69.00 falls away under Debt Review.

4. The Debt Counsellor’s Fee = R150.00

5. Fee to distribute the installment to African Bank = R15.00.

6. This left R2,460.00 which can go to African Bank as an installment.


Problem – R2,460.00 is not enough to accommodate for the guidelines set out by the Credit Providers and National Credit Regulator. The term for the debt repayment would extend past the 60 month guideline for Debt Review. Interest charges would also be very high.


When a Debt Counsellor is unable to stick to the guidelines set out by Credit Providers, a prorate assessment is generated. This means higher interest rates and longer terms.


When the proposal was sent to African Bank they rejected it and made a counter offer as follows:

R2,460.00 at 10% over 84 months.


Clement will now be under Debt Review for 7 years and would have paid R60,000.00 in interest to African Bank by the time his Debt Review is completed.


Send Your Questions to Negociate Credit Solutions at email contactme@negociate.co.za or get additional contact information below for online assessments, facebook messenger or submit a "Call back Request"

Debt Review, Debt Counselling, Debt Management

Debt Counsellor 4

After assessing Clement’s budget and affordability the Debt Counsellor generated an installment of R2,000.00. He decided not to tell Clement that he would be adding on his fee, the Credit Life insurance and the Payment distribution Agency Fee at a later stage. The Debt Counsellor decided he would only tell Clement after he had signed up for Debt Review.


The Debt Counsellor also neglected to tell Clement what his interest rate and term would be.


He knew that African Bank would decline this offer and submit a counter offer in line with what Debt Counsellor 3 was given. African Bank might even decide to enforce the Debt Review guidelines and issue a counter offer as per Debt Counsellor 2 in these examples i.e an installment of R4,000.00.


His assessment went as follows:

1. Total installment R2,000.00


This is what would have happened if Clement signed up for Debt Review with this Debt Counsellor.


Within 30 days his Debt Counsellor would tell him that the installment offer excluded the fees below and add them on.

2. The Credit Life insurance had to be paid = R350.00

3. The Debt Counsellor’s Fee had to be paid = R100.00

4. The installment is distributed by a National Payment Distribution Agency. They charge R15.00 to do this.

5. The installment would increase by R465.00.


Within 60 days he would have to tell Clement that African Bank issued a counter offered and his installment would be increasing to R4,000.00.


Let’s say that Clement could not afford this R2,000.00 increase in his installment:

a. His Debt Review would be terminated 3 months into the process.

b. African Bank would have the loan handed over to a Collection Agency.

c. Clement would have an impaired Credit Record for many many years.


Heard of friends and family who say that Debt Review was the worst thing they ever did. It is because of Debt Counsellors 3 and 4 that people are so skeptical about referring friends and family for Debt Review or have horror stories to convey.


Send Your Questions to Negociate Credit Solutions at email contactme@negociate.co.za or get additional contact information below for online assessments, facebook messenger or submit a "Call back Request"

Debt Review, Debt Counselling, Debt Management
Debt Review, Debt Counselling, Debt Management
Happy Debt Review Cleint

Contrary to popular belief, Debt Review is a very carefully thought out process.


As Debt Review improves so do systems, organisations and laws. Every single registered Credit Provider in SA has been involved in Debt Review's development and have assisted in putting only the best code of conduct in place to ensure a successful process.


So next time you think about shopping around for better Debt Review installments, do your own research. Put figures into an online calculator to see if your debt will settle in a reasonable time at the installment that your Debt Counsellor is offering.


If your Debt Counsellor cannot tell you what the installment, interest rate and term of your Debt Review is going to be, you should definitely not sign up with them. Make sure you get your assessment in writing and ask questions until you are satisfied that you understand the process.


Contact the National Credit Regulator for some advice or read articles like this to inform yourself.



There is no quick fix to getting out of debt. Make sure that you partner with a Debt Counsellor that is going to assist you to get out of Debt.


Debt Review, Debt Counselling, Debt Management

If you would like us to conduct a free financial assessment for you here are contact options:

1.Complete our online assessment form at http://bit.ly/39miXXx

2. Send us an email to contactme@negociate.co.za

3. Submit your query via our FaceBook Messenger app https://bit.ly/3i3PIwl

4. Complete a call back request on our website at http://bit.ly/38Aoyuc



A consultant will contact you to discuss the way forward. Please note that you are not obligated to proceed if you feel that the solution we offer you will not assist you enough financially.


Debt Review, Debt Counselling, Debt Management

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Debt Review, Debt Counselling, Debt Management

About our Author

Debt Review, Debt Counselling, Debt Management

Lauren is a registered member of the National Credit Regulator. Prior to that, she worked as a Financial and Technical consultant for McGregor-BFA (Now INET-BFA). McGregor-BFA provided Trading and Market related data as well as Investment management software to Asset Managers, University Business Schools and Investment entities. Thereafter experience was advanced to the Property Market working as a Project Manager for Propertyi. But it was her career at the IEB in Adult Education that inspired a passion of hers to educate consumers about responsible ways of managing their financial lives and the long term advantages of doing so. It is her belief that financial education should be taught from an early age. By doing so we can create a country that is economically stable, driven not only by work ethics, but by becoming Financially Independent too.

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