Is debt threatening to crush you Newcastle? There is hope

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Dealing with a pile of debt can be overwhelming, as it becomes your every waking thought. Not knowing if you are going to be able to pay it, while keeping your day to day life afloat.

However, there is a glimmer of hope with professionals dealing specifically with overcoming debt. One such individual is Lourens Roberts of LouLana Finance cc, a man who deals with debt counselling and customer support.

What is debt counselling?

Debt counselling is one of the available debt relief measures in South Africa, provided for in the National Credit Act. This process is intended to assist people who find themselves over-indebted, and struggling to keep up with payments, through budget advice, negotiations with credit providers for reduced payments and restructuring of debts.

Lourens explains that when people are faced with debt, there are trends which they follow. “Some people take loans to pay for the debt, but then are forced to take even more loans to pay for the first loan, and then they get stuck in the same circle.”

Another trend involves paying one account, while skipping payment on a second account. Then paying the second account the next month and skipping the other. Lourens says this causes further trouble for the person.

While some might view debt counselling in a somewhat negative light, Lourens explains there are benefits.

“We sit down and look at all the debt, restructure it and see how much our client can afford. We then work with the respective creditors to reduce the monthly instalments and interest rate.”

Lourens, as with other professional debt counsellors, then takes steps to obtain court orders to protect his respective clients from creditors, just as long as the respective customer makes the respective payments worked out by counsellor.

How did Lourens get involved in debt counselling?

“I come from a banking background and after leaving the banking industry, I did not simply want sit at home and do nothing. As I know finance through my history in the banking industry, I thought this would be the ideal career to put my knowledge and experience to use.”

Debt counsellors must successfully complete a debt counsellor training course, as well as satisfy prescribed education, experience or competency requirements, as well as displaying the ability to manage their own finances. Which Lourens all did when he began his career in 2013.

Helping people alleviate the burden of debt, Lourens says his career is not without its challenges.

“Debt counsellors, such as myself, would like people to come forward and say they need help, before their debt spirals out of control. For example, come to us and say you need help, before steps are being taken to repossess your car.”

Other challenges include people making use of out of town debt counsellors. “A lot of times, the client does not deal with the necessary individual. Especially if the indivual’s office is based in Durban or Cape Town. But rather, they deal with a call centre.”

This makes it difficult for the client to keep on track with what is happening with his or her debt. Through using qualified local debt counsellors such as Lourens, the community can have direct access to him and their relevant statements and debt balance.

Why is it debt counselling so important in society?

Lourens says it is a career that plays a vital role in people’s daily lives and health. “Debt can cause severe stress and depression. I had one woman who walked past my office three times, but was too embarrassed at first to come in. Eventually, when she did, it came out that she was receiving treatment for depression. However, once I was able to assist her, her depression immediately went away. Debt can really put a strain on a person’s mental health, which is why debt counselling is so important.”

As people face overwhelming financial challenges on a daily basis, don’t allow your debt to consume you and seek assistance immediately from your local debt counsellor.

Contact Lourens Roberts on 034 312 8303 or 082 921 8581

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