Everything you need to know about Debt Review in South Africa

Published by The National Debt Review Center on

Debt review, also known as debt counselling, is a legal process established by the National Credit Act (NCA) to assist South Africans struggling with overwhelming debt. This article provides a comprehensive overview of what debt review is, how it works, and its potential benefits and drawbacks, along with real-life experiences and insights.

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What is Debt Review?

Debt review is a formal process where a registered debt counsellor acts as your champion. They assess your financial situation, negotiate with your creditors to lower your monthly installments and interest rates, and create a single, consolidated debt repayment plan that is affordable for you.

Who Can Apply for Debt Review?

If you are:

  • Over-indebted and struggling to meet your monthly debt obligations,
  • Earning a regular income, and
  • Committed to sticking to the debt repayment plan,

then you may be eligible for debt review.

Everything You Need To Know About Debt Review In South Africa

How Does Debt Review Work?

  1. Find a reputable and registered debt counsellor through the National Credit Regulator (NCR) website https://nationalgovernment.co.za/units/view/126/national-credit-regulator-ncr.
  2. The debt counsellor will work with you to understand your financial situation, including income, expenses, and debts. They will listen to your concerns and tailor a plan specific to your needs.
  3. The debt counsellor negotiates with your creditors on your behalf to reduce your monthly installments and interest rates. This can significantly ease the financial burden and offer a sense of relief, as Sarah M., a debt review client, shared: “Before debt review, I felt overwhelmed and constantly stressed about keeping up with payments. Now, I have a manageable plan, and I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.Check out our reviews for more client testimonials.
  4. Once an agreement is reached, a court order is issued, making the debt repayment plan legally binding.
  5. You make a single monthly payment to the Payment Distribution Agent (PDA), who then distributes the funds to your creditors according to the agreed plan.

Benefits of Debt Review

  • Debt review can significantly lower your monthly debt repayments, freeing up essential income for other needs.
  • Once under debt review, you are protected from legal action by your creditors, such as summons or repossession of assets.
  • The debt counsellor handles all communication with your creditors, allowing you peace of mind.
  • Completing debt review can help improve your credit score in the long run, paving the way for a more secure financial future.

Drawbacks of Debt Review

  • Debt counsellors charge fees for their services, which can add to your overall debt.
  • Entering debt review has a negative impact on your credit score in the short term. However, the long-term benefits of becoming debt-free often outweigh this initial drawback.
  • The debt repayment plan can take several years to complete. However, sticking to the plan diligently can lead to financial freedom and a brighter future.

Important Considerations

  • Ensure the debt counsellor is registered with the NCR and has a good reputation. Read online reviews and testimonials to gauge their effectiveness and client satisfaction.
  • Carefully review the debt repayment plan and fees before signing any agreement. Ask questions and clarify any doubts you may have.
  • Sticking to the plan is crucial for successful completion of debt review. The counsellor can provide support and guidance throughout the process, but ultimately, success hinges on your commitment.

Alternatives to Debt Review

While debt review can be a valuable tool, it’s essential to explore all options before making a decision. Consider:

  • Debt Consolidation. This involves merging multiple debts into a single loan with a lower interest rate, potentially easing the burden of managing multiple payments.
  • Negotiating with Creditors Directly. You can attempt to negotiate directly with your creditors for lower interest rates or extended repayment terms.
  • Budgeting and Financial Planning. Implementing a strict budget and seeking professional financial advice can help manage your debt and avoid future financial difficulties.

Debt Review Success Rates

Statistics from the National Credit Regulator indicate that approximately 60% of individuals successfully complete debt review programs in South Africa. However, it’s crucial to remember that success depends on various factors, including your financial situation, commitment to the plan, and cooperation from creditors.


Debt review can be a powerful tool for individuals struggling with overwhelming debt in South Africa. However, it’s crucial to make an informed decision after carefully considering all the benefits, drawbacks, and potential alternatives.

If you’re unsure whether debt review is the right solution for you, consulting with a registered debt counsellor is highly recommended. They can assess your financial situation, explain the process in detail, and answer any questions you may have.

This article has aimed to provide a comprehensive overview of debt review in South Africa. Remember, knowledge is power. By educating yourself on the process and your options, you can take control of your financial situation and navigate towards a brighter future.

Schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced debt counsellors today and explore your options.

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The National Debt Review Center

Welcome to The National Debt Review Center, where financial stability and integrity are our guiding principles. We strive to deliver the utmost best in customer service & act with the highest standards of integrity. We are South Africa's best Debt Counselling & Debt Review Removal Company. NCR Registration Number - NCRDC3106


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