A few articles that will help you understand each topic a lot better!

This time of year, there is nothing worse than having to pinch your pennies. At Libertine Consultants, we know all too well that it can be a trying time to be under debt review, while many other family members and friends jet off to gorgeous holiday destinations or go on lavish festive shopping sprees. As such, around this time of year we often get asked whether consumers can withdraw from debt review once a court order has been obtained.

If this headline drew your eye, chances are you are currently undergoing debt counselling, but have been considering withdrawing from the process. At Libertine Consultants, we have assisted overindebted consumers from all walks of life, so we realise that there are situations in which withdrawal from debt review becomes a talking point around the dinner table.

At Libertine Consultants, we realise that debt review is not a one-size-fits-all process. What works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for another; certain consumers require a different approach. This is why you need a knowledgeable debt counsellor by your side to make sense of the process.

Credit cards has to be one of the most hotly contested transacting tools on the market today. Kids who grow up in financially savvy households are taught the evils of the credit card from an early age; while young, working professionals quickly come to rely on this soft, yet volatile, financial cushion to buffer them through the first years of their adult life.

At Libertine Consultants, we have helped many clients who encountered tough financial times due to a split from an abusive partner. It happens more often than you might think, and we’re here to let you know there is hope, even if you feel trapped due to a lack of financial resources. Here are the first steps you should take when you decide to leave an abusive relationship.

We all know we should save. After all, the day may come when you are no longer able to work the long hours you do now, or the economy may take another pounding and a round of retrenchments at your company could lead to months without work. This is not something we like to think about when everything is going well, but this is exactly the time when saving aggressively is most pertinent. However, it is much easier said than done, especially for upwardly mobile people of colour in South Africa. While saving is a tough notion across all races, black and coloured men and women in our country have an extra set of hurdles to overcome on the road to financial prosperity:

There are many reasons South Africans go into debt to the point where they require debt counselling to improve their circumstances. While it often involves a loss of income, over-spending, unexpected illness or simply an inability to manage personal finances effectively, divorce is also increasingly ranking among the reasons for individuals to seek the assistance of debt professionals.

Bringing a brand-new life into this world is one of the most rewarding experiences you’ll ever enjoy, but it also comes with a whole lot of added responsibilities. And by ‘a whole lot’ we mean a boatload. It’s pretty intense. If you have been considering having a child or expanding your family, there are a few financial aspects to consider before you take the plunge. Here are the basic costs you need to factor in when falling pregnant and having a baby:

If you have been following the news closely, you’ll realise that the South African economy is taking a bit hit in the wake of the contentious cabinet reshuffle in the first quarter of the year. As expected, this political move caused two of the three major credit ratings agencies to downgrade South Africa to sub-investment status, or so-called junk status.

In the wake of the recent downgrading of the South African economy following a contentious cabinet reshuffling, the country’s economy has officially gone into what is being termed ‘a technical recession’ by debt professionals. It has had a substantial impact on the financial situation of the most cash-strapped consumers. According to official statistics, 10 million+ consumers (more than half of South Africa's economically active population) are in arrears on at least three different monthly payments. This is serious. Here are a few things that will definitely happen as a result of the current economic recession:

If you are someone who keeps an eye on the news, you’ll know that the world’s foremost credit rating agencies have downgraded South Africa to sub-investment status in the wake of the president’s contentious cabinet reshuffle. While we all realise this is very bad for the South African economy, few of us actually understand how this could impact on our own finances further down the line. Here are a few reasons why the economic downgrade should inspire you to save more.

South Africans are facing very trying economic times. At Libertine Consultants, we understand the pressures of mounting debt and the fear that you may not even be able to make the basic consolidated repayment brokered by a debt counsellor. In fact, that is one of the questions we hear most frequently during our initial meetings with debt-stricken clients: What should happen if I lose my job while I’m under debt review? The short answer is not a happy one - [debt counselling](https://www.libertineconsultants.co.za/debt-counselling.html "debt counselling") is only an option when you have a regular income, and if you should lose that income during the review process, your creditors can terminate the review in terms of the National Credit Act. However, don’t lose heart, there are options available to debt review clients who lose their regular income.

In the wake of the downgrading of South Africa's sovereign debt rating to sub-investment grade (so-called junk status) by the world's foremost credit rating agencies, SA consumers are bracing for a tough time ahead in terms of their finances, and rightly so.

We have great news for all South African consumers who have been trying to improve their credit scores – several international credit bureaux are in the process of implementing new reporting legislation that will make it much easier to boost your credit rating. Equifax, Experian and TransUnion will be removing a handful of negative factors from their reports after July 1st 2017, according to the Wall Street Journal.

According to the 2016 report by the South African office of the Credit Ombudsman, the organisation managed to return a whopping R10.7 million rand to South African consumers' pockets last year; a feat that is all the more remarkable when you consider that many of individual amounts repaid are quite small and the total repayment marks an increase of 40.2% from the previous year.

Do you live under the shadow of a poor credit score? At Libertine Consultants, we know what a hassle it can be to secure credit or even do something as simple as upgrade your cell phone if there is a blight on your credit history. Today we take a look at a few simple ways in which you can improve your credit rating.

At Libertine Consultants, we firmly believe the easiest way to keep maintain a healthy credit score is to be informed about how it’s calculated and what you can do to improve it. Here are five important things you should know about your South African credit rating:

At Libertine Consultants, we are often approached by consumers who are at their wit’s end due to unscheduled withdrawals from banks who use the funds to settle credit arrears without prior notice. This kind of situation can be devastating if you had been counting on a cash deposit to pay another creditor or to take care of your day-to-day living expenses. Today we take a look at debt off-set, what the law says about it and how to safeguard yourself against this controversial practice.

Our previous article regarding effective ways to stay debt-free in 2017 was so well-received by our readers that we decided to share five more! Here are another five budgeting tips to keep you on the financial straight and narrow in the coming year:

At Libertine Consultants, we know first-hand the devastating effects that debt can have on the quality of life of cash-strapped families and couples. In the spirit of enjoying a financially sound and prosperous 2017, we share five effective ways to stay debt-free in the coming year.

Today we take a look at withdrawing from debt review. Normally, the debt review process is only finished once your debt is paid off and Libertine Consultants has issued a clearance certificate to each of your creditors and notified the National Credit Regulator (NCR) and credit bureau to remove the debt review flag from your profile. However, South Africa’s National Credit Act is one of the most progressive in the world, which means it makes allowance for the fact that the consumer and/or debt counsellor may want to withdraw from the debt review process before it has been completed in this fashion.

At Libertine Consultants, we realise that the very notion of having to apply for debt review is stressful enough, which is why we make the debt review application process as simple as possible. Here is a step-by-step explanation of what you can expect when you apply for debt review with Libertine Consultants.

The debt review process can be quite daunting, especially if you don’t know what to expect once it had been completed. At Libertine Consultants, our clients often ask whether they’ll ever be able to buy a house, finance a car or get any sort of credit once their debt counselling bas been completed. Happily, the answer to most of these questions is YES. Debt management is a measure that has been put in place by the National Credit Act to safeguard South African consumers against the crippling effect of piled-up debt, which means the process is meant to rehabilitate, not to punish. So how does it work?

At Libertine Consultants, we have found that debt review is often misunderstood. Today we look at the process of debt review, what it means and how it can help you to regain control of your finances.

At Libertine Consultants, we often provide debt counselling services for individuals who learned that they were blacklisted without even knowing what this means. Today we give a quick overview of what blacklisting means, why it happens and how you can avoid it.

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