Just over five years ago, I was left with R250k debt

 

Just over five years ago, I was left with R250k debt, moving from two incomes to one. I tried to manage it for over a year, negotiated payment terms, but it never worked for me. 

I took advice and went under debt counselling... the best move I ever made. No more threatening calls and sleepless nights. Remember this process is run through the courts, creditors cannot bother you any more with those dreaded calls. The contract was for five years, I paid it off in three -and-a-half years and now I am totally debt free. 

Today I am unemployed and trying to start a small IT company, with NO debt.
 
The reason for my major debt, was because I wanted to impress my friends and family by living a lavish life style and because of my “Just 'cause I can”-attitude.

What happens when the funds run dry? 

Most of the time, those people who lived lavishly at your expense disappear, and you are left to fend for yourself. And 99% of them don’t know you any more.

It’s easy to splash and dash, but ultimately, YOU pay for it, and your "friends" continue onto another splash-and-dash excursion somewhere else. 

My advice: 

1. You can negotiate with your creditors, but they can be difficult and still phone you.
2. Never be afraid to ask for help. Certified debt counselling companies are there to assist you.
3. When applying for debt counselling be totally honest, don’t be afraid of supplying all the correct information, it's for your own best will.
4. Take their advice from day 1. Play by the rules and everything will work out just grand.
5. Never take anything for granted, check your monthly statements from your debt counsellor and check your creditor account balances quarterly. That way you can still keep track of the process.
6. When an account is paid up, LEAVE that money in the pool. It gets distributed into the other accounts. 
7. Never skip a payment. That is a FATAL move. If you have a problem, contact your debt counsellor, they will advise your creditors.
8. Repayment terms are negotiated/mediated on your behalf with your creditors through the courts on your behalf.
9. They have heard it all and yes, they get paid a monthly fee for their services, but the fees they charge are worth every cent.

ALWAYS remember, you are still able to feed your family and get to and from work, with ease of mind.

Source: http://www.fin24.com/Debt/YourVoice/Debt-free-after-3-years-20140519