2020 has taught many South Africans the value of applying good money management principles whilst servicing credit. File Image: IOL
2020 has taught many South Africans the value of applying good money management principles whilst servicing credit. File Image: IOL

How to make good decisions when you take out credit

By Vernon Pillay Time of article published Oct 27, 2021

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2020 has taught many South Africans the value of applying good money management principles whilst servicing credit.

“Over the last year, many South Africans have had to revisit their budget and make meaningful financial changes. Being debt free is possible but not always easy to achieve. However, there is an opportunity to explore avenues to free up additional cashflow through applying good money management principles while using debt in a responsible manner,” says Emma Mer, CEO of FNB Loans.

Mer shares four tips on how to apply good money management principals to free up cashflow even though you have debt obligations:

  • Save on fees by switching: When you switch your qualifying credit into a single agreement you could save on monthly credit service fees. Your revised personalised interest rate might be lower than the interest on your previous repayments which can help you save on interest paid and in turn free up cashflow.

By switching, you can also free up monthly cashflow, or save on the total cost of credit over the lifetime of your loan, depending on what works for you.

  • Make sure that you benefit from maximum rewards and value-adds: Reward programmes can unlock multiple ways of saving; it could be through discounts depending on your reward tier or through maximising your spend with rewards so that you can minimise your cash spend. The ability to earn extra could be dependent on the type of products you hold and how you manage them – it’s therefore helpful to spend some time understanding the rewards programmes you form part of. Spending in a certain way or at certain shops with your cards, setting up an auto payment on your credit card or having certain products with your financial services provider could also help you to earn more rewards. For example, when you hold your credit products with FNB, you can unlock more value and double your rewards with your FNB Aspire Account.
  • Keep track: The single most important rule when it comes to including credit into your financials is to ensure that you do not take on more credit than you can afford and once you have credit, to make sure you meet your minimum repayments every month.
  • Understand the cost implications of the products and offerings available to you: Lee Mhlongo, CEO of FNB Home Finance adds, FNB Life offers tailor-made insurance products to bolt on to your Home Loan, like Basic Mortgage Protection Plan (BMPP). These insurance products automatically adjust their cover amounts and monthly premiums in line with the outstanding balance on your home loan. Should you make any extra payments into your home loan, you’ll not only save on interest, but your BMPP or Dynamic Life cover and premium will also reduce. If you need to access money from your home loan again, your insurance cover will increase to make sure you remain fully protected.

“Whether you need to better manage your money during unique circumstances or for ways to better handle your ongoing credit agreements and potentially save, reach out to your credit provider, and use the educational tools available to you, to explore your options, ”concludes Mer.

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