oa Journal of Economic and Financial Sciences - Assessment of debt counselling services : a case of Gauteng, South Africa
The high level of over-indebtedness in Gauteng is cause for concern. The number of consumers applying for debt counselling as well as the registered debt counsellors is increasing. The study on which this article reports aimed at exploring and describing the role of debt counselling in terms of personal financial well-being of consumers in Gauteng. Fifteen debt counsellors were interviewed and 300 consumers were surveyed. Data was analysed using descriptive statistics. There was no evidence that consumers who received debt counselling improved in their financial standing. It was observed that both debt counsellors and consumers lacked financial management skills. It was concluded that, while debt counselling is important, it does not necessarily improve the financial well-being of consumers. It is recommended that financial management skills should serve as a pre-requisite for debt counselling registration and consumers be introduced to personal financial management education at an early stage of their lives.
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