My Debt Hero

Decoding the Clock: Understanding the Maximum Term in Debt Review

Share this post with everyone you care about

Demystifying the Maximum Term in Debt Review: A Guide to Financial Stability

Understanding Debt Review: Your Path to Financial Recovery


If you’re feeling overwhelmed by debt and seeking a way out, debt review – also known as debt counselling – could be your lifeline to financial stability. In simple terms, debt review is a legal process designed to help South African consumers like you manage their debts more effectively. It works by renegotiating the terms of your debt repayments, making them more manageable within a specific timeframe called the maximum term.


What is the Maximum Term?


Think of the maximum term as a roadmap for your journey out of debt. It sets the deadline by which you need to pay off your restructured debts. This timeframe is crucial because it helps you plan your finances and work towards becoming debt-free. By understanding the maximum term, you can make better decisions about how to manage your money and take control of your financial future.


Imagine you’re dealing with R50,000 in debt, and you’re considering entering debt review. Your debt counsellor proposes a maximum term of three years to pay it all off.

Struggling to keep up with your debt?

Our team can help make your debt affordable once again.

We help thousands of South Africans to reduce their monthly debt repayments, protect them from legal action, and keep their assets — our team can help you too.


Example 1: Shorter Maximum Term

If you agree to the three-year maximum term, your monthly payments might be higher because you’re paying off the debt in a shorter amount of time. Let’s say your monthly payment is R2,000. Over the course of three years, you’ll pay a total of R72,000 (R2,000 x 36 months). So, you end up paying R22,000 more than the original debt due to interest and fees.


Example 2: Longer Maximum Term

Now, let’s say you opt for a longer maximum term of five years instead. Your debt counsellor adjusts your monthly payment to R1,200 to make it more affordable. Over five years, you’ll pay a total of R72,000 (R1,200 x 60 months). While your monthly payments are lower, you end up paying the same total amount as in Example 1. However, spreading the payments over a longer period means you pay less each month but more in total interest over the five years.


In both examples, you ultimately pay off the debt, but the length of time and total amount paid differ. It’s essential to consider your financial situation carefully and choose the maximum term that aligns with your budget and long-term financial goals.


How Does It Work?


The maximum term typically lasts up to five years, but it can vary depending on your situation. Extending the term might lower your monthly payments, but it could also mean paying more in interest over time. So, it’s essential to strike a balance between what you can afford in the short term and the long-term costs.


Sticking to the Plan


Once you’re on a debt review plan, it’s crucial to stick to it. That means keeping up with your payments and staying in touch with your debt counsellor. If your financial situation changes, don’t hesitate to let them know so they can adjust your plan accordingly. Consistency and communication are key to making debt review work for you.


The Consequences of Falling Behind


If you don’t complete the debt review process within the agreed-upon timeframe, things can get tough. Creditors might take legal action to get their money back, leading to more fees and possibly even losing assets. So, it’s essential to stay on track and finish within the maximum term to avoid these consequences.


If you find yourself unable to complete the debt review process within the agreed-upon timeframe, the consequences can be quite daunting. Here are a few scenarios that could unfold:


Legal Action by Creditors: If you fall behind on your debt review payments and exceed the maximum term without resolving your debts, creditors may resort to legal action to recoup their money. This could involve taking you to court to obtain a judgment against you for the outstanding debt. Once a judgment is obtained, creditors may have the authority to garnish your wages or seize your assets to satisfy the debt.


Accumulation of Additional Fees and Penalties: As your debt remains unpaid beyond the maximum term, creditors may impose additional fees, penalties, and interest charges. These extra costs can significantly increase the total amount you owe, making it even more challenging to repay your debts.


Negative Impact on Credit Score: Failing to adhere to the maximum term and falling behind on debt payments can severely impact your credit score. Late payments, defaults, and legal actions taken by creditors will be reported to credit bureaus, resulting in a lower credit score. A poor credit score can make it difficult for you to access credit in the future, such as obtaining loans or credit cards.


Risk of Asset Seizure: In extreme cases, creditors may seek to recover their debts by seizing your assets. Depending on the laws in your jurisdiction, assets such as your home, vehicle, or other valuable property could be at risk of repossession or foreclosure if you fail to repay your debts within the agreed-upon timeframe.


Emotional Stress and Mental Strain: Dealing with the repercussions of not completing the debt review process can take a toll on your emotional well-being. The constant worry about legal actions, financial penalties, and the loss of assets can lead to increased stress, anxiety, and even depression.


Given these potential consequences, it’s crucial to prioritize staying on track with your debt review plan and completing it within the maximum term. If you encounter difficulties, it’s essential to communicate openly with your debt counsellor and explore options for addressing any challenges you may face. By proactively managing your debts and staying committed to your repayment plan, you can avoid the negative consequences associated with failing to complete the debt review process on time.


Debt review is a journey towards financial freedom, and the maximum term is your guide along the way. By understanding its importance and committing to your repayment plan, you can take control of your finances and work towards a debt-free future. Remember, it’s okay to seek help from a qualified debt counsellor if you need personalized advice. With patience and determination, you can overcome your debts and build a brighter financial future for yourself.

Table of Contents

a 3D shield that is blue with a tick on it, protecting a brown wallet with cash and coins
a 3D shield that is blue with a tick on it, protecting a brown wallet with cash and coins

Struggling to keep up with your debt?

Our team can help make your debt affordable once again.

Application Form (8 Part - No qualifying - Same Page)

Terrific! You're qualified to apply.

Provide your details so that we can contact you with the solution.

Our team promises to protect your privacy and will never share your information.

Enter your details to get your results

Want to find out how you could reduce your debt? Enter your details below — if you qualify, we'll reach out to tell you everything.

*Calls are limited, so book now to secure yours.

Tap to talk to us on WhatsApp