Advice for Consumers in challenging times

Having a financial strategy to deal with challenging times, such as the one caused by COVID-19, is important to ensure your financial status is protected. Here are our tips that consumers can follow to better protect their financial well being during this time.

Check your credit report – If you have any concerns, Experian can provide your free credit report as available on the Experian or Compuscan bureau platform. There is a Consumer Care team available to assist you.

Budgeting to know what to expect – Having a budget is key, especially when an emergency occurs. An important step in managing your budget is identifying your income and expenses.

Maintaining an emergency fund –Financial experts usually recommend that you save enough money to cover 3-6 months of your regular expenses (including your debt repayments). This money makes up your emergency fund and is money you can use to pay for unexpected expenses.

Taking out credit in the current climate – If you’re considering taking out a credit to help you cope during the COVID-19 pandemic, you must consider all your financial options first. You should only borrow what you can afford to repay. Borrowing options may change as the situation evolves. If you’re thinking about applying for credit, consider starting to review your options sooner rather than later.

Credit commitments – If you think you’re going to struggle to make payments, due to the knock-on economic effects of the pandemic, please speak to your lender as soon as you can. If you are in financial difficulty, contact a debt counsellor who can help you.

Protection from financial fraud – It’s important to protect yourself against financial fraud, even more so during these uncertain times. There are many fraudsters exploiting consumers’ fears and misinformation relating to COVID-19. Be careful if you get phone calls, emails or messages about COVID-19, especially if they are asking for personal details.

Credit Insurance – If you are unable to meet your current credit obligations, determine whether your current insurance policies include protection that can be used to settle your outstanding debts.