The end of debt review is like massive sigh of relief for a consumer. Once all creditors have been paid off, a counsellor issues a consumer with debt clearance certificate, as well as notifying all credit bureaus that their client has been successfully rehabilitated. After that a consumer may still not apply for credit in South Africa for 5 years, but with all the money that is suddenly freed up following debt review, 5 years is not an inordinate amount of time wait. It also affords a consumer a period of 100% debt free living, to prove to them that it is entirely possible to do so. It could even discourage consumers from taking on debt again.
Often times consumers become antsy as the end of debt review approaches. Suddenly they find themselves with a minimal amount left due to creditors, and they want to pay it off immediately and end their time under debt review. Although consumers are free to pay off more, it is advised that they do so within the confines of debt review. The law does not yet make provision for a consumer to terminate debt review early without opening themselves up to lawsuits and other legal actions by creditors.
It is also favourable that a consumer receives their debt clearance certificate as this reflects positively on their credit record, whereas it is unclear what the effect of terminating debt review and going it alone will have on their credit score. It does however state that the consumer was never fully rehabilitated and creditors will not look favourably upon such a remark in the future.
The best way to end debt review is to have the patience and will power to see it through, and finally emerge debt free and rehabilitated.
Article written by: Andrea van Tonder 03-2013