We have all been receiving the emails. We’ve added to our ‘Wishlist’ and even have first preference on all ‘early bird’ specials, just so we don’t miss out on all the wonderful Black Friday specials. Even if we want to avoid the ‘Black Friday’ euphoria, it is hardly a frenzy that we can ignore.
During ‘Black Friday season’ we are already in the festive mood and are likely to increase our spending. Statistics from the National Credit Regulator (Consumer Credit Market Report) show that for the quarter ended June 2019, credit facilities which consist mainly of credit cards, store cards and bank overdrafts increased from R20.26 billion to R21.11 billion (a quarter on quarter increase of 4.1%) while in December 2018 (a quarter-on-quarter increase of 15.00%). This further indicates that as consumers, we are likely to increase our usage on credit facilities during this time of the year. We should not forget other obligations, such as back to school expenses, and other expenses that normally come with the new year. We should be proactive and not find ourselves being in the usual corner of ‘Janu Avenue and Worry Street’.
The office of the Credit Ombud advises that as consumers we should rather plan our expenditure prudently and make provision for the expected and often times, unexpected increase in expenses for the new year, as this will assist in avoiding default and the negative consequences of being ‘blacklisted’ at the credit bureaux. While looking out for good deals we should also be on the lookout for deals which might lead us to long-term credit depression. Using credit on Black Friday spending, should be the last resort, rather have a budget and be disciplined. Be money-savvy in the run-up to Black Friday; we should check our credit profiles, understand our spending limitations and prepare to walk away from a deal that is unnecessary.
Should you have failed to make a budget and have no other alternative or see the need to purchase using credit, keep your monthly obligation according to your credit agreement and pay your monthly installment. If you are able to pay a bit more, this will help to pay off the debt faster.
Consumers can contact the office of the Credit Ombud for FREE assistance if they experience any issues relating to credit agreements with non-bank credit providers such as the clothing and furniture retailers as well as micro-lenders, fraudulent listings, emolument attachment orders (“garnishee orders”) or general complaints about their credit bureaux listings.
The office can be contacted on 0861 66 28 37; on the website www.creditombud.org.za; email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or send a sms to 44786 and we will call you.