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Debt Review: Your Step by Step Guide – From Application to Final Payment

Read our step by step guide and see how Sandton Debt Counselling can help you see your debt review journey through successfully to the end!

Woman explains debt review step by step

Debt Review – Your Step by Step Guide

The process of applying for debt review might be unnerving, but it is an honourable step in the right direction to unshackle yourself from the restraints of your debts. And truth be told, once you start the process, you’ll realise that it is simply that. A process – that in total should take about 60 business days from applying to finalizing negotiations with credit providers.

The key is to always be open and transparent with your debt counsellor. This will streamline the process and enable your DC to complete the initial and most crucial stages without unnecessary delays. Just as how Sandton Debt Counselling will always guide our clients and remain honest and transparent, we require the same from you for the journey to be a success.

Step 1 – Contact Sandton Debt Counselling

We won’t know that you need debt consolidation unless you get in touch!  Of course, there are many debt review companies to choose from – but it is imperative that you opt for a company, such as ours; where you’ll be assigned a registered debt counsellor (DC), and deal with a company that actually has their clients best needs at heart.

If you want a bit of added reassurance, head over to Hello Peter where you’ll see that Sandton Debt Counselling ranks as the #1 debt counselling company in South Africa!  You can either contact us telephonically, via email or by engaging our online contact form. 

Step 2 – Telephonic Assessment

What makes the process a bit easier is that it is all done telephonically.  There is no need to take time out from your workday to meet with us in person.  Just let us know when it would be a suitable time to talk, and we’ll be in touch.  The first contact will entail doing an initial assessment and providing you with a preliminary restructured amount.  This amount might change slightly once the process proceeds officially.

Step 3 – Debt Review Application

Once you’ve got a better idea of how debt review can work for you, we’ll begin the official application.  This will require some input on your part initially – although this is only to enable us to guide you best.  You’ll be required to provide us with information and documentation pertaining to your financial situation. Note that we will only request information that is crucial for successful debt review application and approval.

Step 4 – We Inform your Creditors that You’re Off-Limits

Once we’ve gathered all the required documentation and information, we move onto informing your creditors – the companies whom you are indebted to – that you are officially under debt review. From the moment we receive your application, you are protected under the NCA – and we effectively become your safety net.

Your creditors will then send us a certificate of balance (COB), which could take approximately 5 – 10 business days. Once we’ve received the COB’s, we can move on to sending out proposals to each of your creditors. Again, there will be a bit of a wait (approximately 14 – 20 business days). After which the creditors will either accept or reject our offer – the latter of which will come with a counter proposal. We can then choose to accept or decline the counter proposal. The decision will be based on what we know will be best for our client.


If an agreement cannot be reached, we will, on your behalf, seek acceptance by referring the matter to the magistrates court. It should be noted that this rarely happens, and proposals are generally accepted.
It is also during these initial stages of the debt review process that all your lines of credit, such as overdrafts, credit cards, credit facilities, etc, will be suspended with immediate effect. You’ll also be listed as ‘under debt review’ at credit bureaus.

Step 5 – Acceptance & Payment

It might take a while for proposals to be finalized – but payment on the preliminary amount, which we would have provided you upon your initial assessment, should commence from month one.  This is the only way in which your debt counsellor can protect you from creditors seeking payment from you directly.  Once all parties are in agreement and acceptance letters have been received from all creditors, you will need to start paying the official restructured amount immediately.  This will also become an order of the court.

The golden rule is to never skip a payment.  For as long as you keep up with your debt review payments, from month one, you’ll effectively have immunity. Should you receive any potential future threats from creditors – simply tell them that you are under debt review. Please email us to inform us of such incidents and we will make sure that it won’t happen again.

Sometimes your payment date might be due before we can finalize proposals. For this reason, we might request you to move your bank account to another financial institution to avoid unnecessary debit orders from running.

Step 6 – Keep Paying and See it Through!

Each client – and their financial position – is unique. It is very difficult to say for how long you’ll remain under debt review, but it could be for a period of up to 5 years or slightly more, depending on your total debts.

Of course, the more you pay, the sooner you’ll be done! So should your financial position improve at any time, inform your debt counsellor and try put extra money towards your monthly payment, which will accelerate your payment plan.

Smaller accounts might also get paid-up quicker, but this will not affect your original monthly instalment – the extra money will automatically go towards other outstanding balances. You might even feel tempted to exit the debt review process prematurely; but more often than not- it is wiser to see it through to the end – as you’ll only benefit from the protection whilst under debt review.

Step 7 – Clearance Certificate: You’re Free!

You’ve put in the time, paid your debt review each and every month, and finally settled all outstanding balances. This is the exciting part as it is when you’re officially done with your debt review! Your debt counsellor will obtain ‘paid up’ letters from each of your creditors, and your debt review status will be removed from all credit bureaus. The final step will be when we issue you with your clearance certificate. The certificate you can keep as proof, and a well-deserved reminder of your diligent payment and successful debt review journey!

That’s it! The process of applying and completing your debt review really shouldn’t be overwhelming at all. The only real input required from your end is right at the beginning, when you first apply for debt review. A few months in, things will settle down and you’ll simply need to make your monthly payment from thereon.

Now that we’ve shown you a step by step guide to the debt review process, you can see that it really is one of the best ways to stay protected – whilst you settle your debts. Contact us at Sandton Debt Counselling today and let us guide you to financial freedom!

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