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Debt FAQs

When you enter into Debt Review, you take the step to clear debt from your name and your life. You also step into the protection that comes from the National Credit Act that provides security against creditors repossessing your assets as well as prohibiting creditors from contacting you and hassling you for payment. If you’re under Debt Review,  they are legally obliged to contact your debt counsellor.


However, there are cases where they might still contact you for payments. This might be because they have not been notified of the confirmation that you are under Debt Review, for example. 

If you do find yourself contacted by a creditor while you’re under Debt Review, the best steps to follow are:

  1. Inform your creditor that you have either applied for or are already under Debt Review in terms of section 86 of the National Credit Act.
  2. Provide them with the contact details of your debt counsellor.
  3. Show them your Debt Review protection certificate or NDA receipt (your debt counsellor will have given you one).

Easy as 1.2.3 and they’ll be directed to the correct channel and will speak to your debt counsellor who will act as the contact point for you.

The short answer: No. Debt Review is not the same as a loan.


The longer answer: Debt Review is a process in which your finances and outstanding debt will be assessed and a unique debt repayment plan will be built and structured for you. Instead of taking a loan to pay off your debt, you will have a monthly payment plan to resolve debt without a major significant life change. 

Under Debt Review, you will have a debt counsellor on your side to negotiate with your credit providers to discuss and reduce interest rates. Debt Review, unlike a loan, protects you from repossession of your assets by your credit providers and also puts your debt counsellor as the point of contact between yourself and your credit providers.

When a person finds themselves over-indebted, it might feel like an overwhelming impossible obstacle to overcome in their financial life. Many might not realise that there are two ways to deal with the monthly struggle to try and pay off debt without a structured payment plan: 


  1. Debt Review and,
  2. Debt consolidation loans.

A consolidation loan is a loan for the sum of your unsecured loans from various credit providers. With a consolidated loan, you consolidate your debt and can settle high-interest debts and close accounts. It means you only have one payment to deal with but do not have the same support structure as with Debt Review. 

Debt Review is a process whereby you have an experienced debt counsellor who assesses your outstanding debt and works with you and your creditors to build a structured debt repayment plan. The debt counsellor acts as the contact point between you and your creditor and helps negotiate your interest rates. The benefits of Debt Review include the following:


  1. Only one payment to worry about.
  2. An expert debt counsellor on your side to help you and reduce your interest rates.
  3. Protection against repossession.
  4. No more creditor calls – your debt counsellor becomes the contact point.

When you undergo Debt Review, your debt counsellor will negotiate with your credit providers to find a repayment plan and monthly amount that you can afford. Debtline debt counsellors work hard to find a payment plan that works for you and also one that the credit providers will accept.


However, the credit provider has the right to reject the proposed payment plan. If this is the case, the credit provider will submit a counter-proposal and your debt counsellor will consult with you about the creditor’s proposed repayment amount. If this is not affordable, your debt counsellor will refer the matter to the Magistrates Court for a decision. The debt counsellor will rationalise why the payment plan is reasonable. If the Course grants the proposal as acceptable, it will formalise the payment plan.

If Debtline suspends your services, your status will remain at the National Credit Regulator as “under Debt Review” and you will still not be able to obtain credit. This is because your financial profile will show that you are over-indebted.

This suspension flag can only be amended when:

  1. All accounts included in the Debt Review process have been paid in full;
  2. All paid-up letters have been obtained from credit providers;
  3. All paid-up letters have been sent to Debtline [email protected]; and
  4. All outstanding fees owed to Debtline have been paid.
Only then may you request Debtline to issue a Clearance Certificate [email protected] and lift the flag from your name. 

Alternatively, the following approach will also amend your suspension:

  1. You appoint an attorney at your own cost who will then have to go to the High Court to prove that you are no longer over-indebted and can pay your credit providers directly as per the original contractual agreements. This includes contractual interest rates you have with your credit providers. 
  2. Only once the Court grants this application will your attorney be able to send the order to the National Credit Regulator, Credit Bureaus, and respective credit providers to remove your listing/flag.