Do not fall into the debt trap – consumers warned

Text by Lerato Mochesane

MASERU- More and more consumers are unknowingly falling into the debt trap and only note of their mistakes when it is already too late to make up for it.
This became part of the discussion when the Central Bank of Lesotho (CBL) met with stakeholders at a business forum at Avani Maseru yesterday. CBL organised the forum as part of its ‘Money Month’ celebrations.

The forum was attended by different entrepreneurs and different ministries including officials from the Ministry of Employment and Labour. Guest speakers such as Bohlale Phakoe and Teboho Kobeli were part of this session which was described as informative by the participants.

Advocate Craig Sassman, from Compuscan Academy in South Africa who was the keynote speaker, gave out a presentation on ‘Understanding personal finances, credit business forum and budgeting’ and a lecture on the importance of money.

Sassman showed that in as much as money is important because we pay for our wants and necessities, people should work on seeing that they do not get over-indebted. He outlined that people have the ideology that their lives can be made simple if they had a lot of money “…such that they even go to an extent of borrowing if they do not have because not having money can depress you.”

He revealed that the sad thing about credit is that it is paid with fees and interest and this leads to over-indebtedness.

“Sometimes, however, there circumstances that can force you to do credit. These include being jobless, inflation, and the availability of credit itself, to mention but a few”, he revealed.
Sassman did not leave the stage without giving tips on how to deal with credit to the audience:
“Pay off debt as soon as possible, close your credit facilities, increase mortgage repayments and also consider paying more that the minimum amount required when you make a lay-by as you will finish that debt fast.”

He concluded by giving out tips for saving which include things like cutting down on entertainment, exploring other options of saving, shopping around for better deals and also being cautious with spending.

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