Finance Jobs – Debt Counsellors and Debt Collectors

Debt is a big issue in South Africa. The lack of jobs and the low minimum wage means that people are often short of cash. When this happens you can seek out those working in finance jobs like debt counsellors. If you are owed money, then those working in debt collection jobs can help. This article will cover both finance professions.

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What is debt counselling?

When you have too much debt against your name and you want to remedy this, you go to debt counselling. These people have to deal with very complex debt situations on a daily basis. Your job as a debt counsellor is to help people manage their own finances with the eventual outcome of helping them to become debt free. You will provide practical and impartial help to clients that cannot control their own spenditure. You are also there to give advice on budgeting and money management.

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A debt counsellor will be the middle man between you and your creditors. They will negotiate an amount that both the client and the creditors are happy with. This mostly happens based on what the client is able to pay without them going broke. They will also be there to support their clients in legal proceedings and give emotional support to those who cannot cope with the mental anguish of uncontrollable debt.

What kind of person do I need to be for a debt counselling job?

As a person, you need some special qualities to go into this profession. You need to be a very sympathetic person, friendly and patient as you will be dealing with people that don’t understand the finance process and those that are frustrated at the whole process. You will need to have great administration skills and be able to communicate well in both written and typed formats.

The most important thing is to be calm and genuinely want to help people. You need to be able to relate to those that are under debt review and put yourself in their shoes. Empathy is of the utmost importance.

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Education and training for debt counselling jobs

Debt counselling doesn’t need any special degree or certifications besides you needing a national senior certificate and to apply at a registered institution for training. It will also be am massive benefit if you have taken mathematics at school and then accounting is also advised.

The National Credit Act for debt counselling outlines the debt counselling program in South Africa. Debt counsellors can only be trained by counsellors who are competent and registered with the NCR or the National Credit Regulator. In South Africa there are eight training service providers that are registered and allowed to give Debt Counsellor training in South Africa.

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Image Source: National Credit Regulator Website.

To become a debt counsellor you have to attend a three day training course and then write and pass a written exam on the fourth day. After this you will need further training on using a computer program that must be used to complete the debt review process. Within these types of finance jobs, you will need to keep up-to-date with the most recent economic trends and frequent financial forums. The last step is to register as a debt counsellor by fulfilling the requirements in the National Credit Act and Regulations.

What are Debt Collectors?

According to the National Debt Collection Act 114 of 1998. Debt collection is any time an attorney, any registered agent of an attorney or a registered debt collector collecting on behalf of a creditor. This can include any outstanding fees such as admin costs and interest.

The National Debt Collection Act 114 of 1998 was created to regulate the process of collecting debts in South Africa.

Debt Collection is when an attorney, an attorney’s agent or a registered debt collector collects outstanding money on behalf of a credit provider and any lawful interest, admin costs and collection fees, which by law is capped to certain amounts.

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Image Source: Council for Debt Collectors Website.

If any person attempts to charge for their services, these people must be registered with the Debt Collectors Council. No debt collector is ever allowed to:

  • Use any force what so ever or make a threat of using force against you or your family.
  • Physically threaten or make you or any of your family feel threatened.
  • Exchange, or threaten to exchange, information to the consumer’s employer which might adversely affect any job related opportunities.
  • Hand over any false legal documents
  • Fraudulently name themselves as officers of the court, police officers or sheriffs
  • Expose, or threaten to expose, any false information about your credit worthiness
  • Charge an individual more than the financial amounts set down by the Council
What qualifications are needed?

Debt Collection jobs do not need any qualifications besides the fact that they must be registered with the Debt Collectors Council of South Africa. Most of the training is done on the job and there will be a few in house courses that will teach you things like collection techniques, how to talk to clients, insolvency, litigation and about the National Credit Act which regulates all Debt Collectors tasks in South Africa.

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There are also training institutions in South Africa like the CSTI which has many short courses that will equip you with the means to handle a debt collector position. Even if you are already a debt collector, you can go on these courses to hone your skills and get any new information that is circulating in the industry at the moment.

What kind of person do I need to be for debt collection jobs?

You will need very good communication skills and a good knowledge of the South African debt collection methodology. You will need to be assertive but still civil and calm under pressure. You will have to deal with irate customers who don’t understand the legal issues and you will have to calmly explain it to them. Some counselling skills are great to have and negation abilities are also very important.

Other opportunities for those in debt counselling jobs

People that are experienced in this job can seek employment in other industries. Many commercial businesses employ credit controllers and debt collection agencies also have managerial vacancies for employees that excel in the field. One can also work on a freelance basis for anyone who wishes to make use of their services.

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With plenty of opportunities for those working in debt counselling and debt collection jobs anyone can find a vacancy that can offer you a rewarding career. If you have the right drive, passion and skills and are interested in working in finance jobs, this may be the right career path for you. Register your CV on Job Mail and you can start applying for debt collectors and debt counselling vacancies today.

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Bruce Ungersbock

Bruce is an SEO guy that has his eye on the prize and traffic on his mind. A lover of good music and a connoisseur of all things awesome.

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