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Can Foreigners Apply for Debt Review in South Africa in 2024?

Our country has a diverse population, and of our 60-odd million residents, a fair number comprises foreigners.  Under the current financial climate, the need for debt counselling in South Africa can betide anyone, whether you’re a born and bred South African, or hail from elsewhere in the world.

Sandton Debt Counselling provides national debt counselling services, which includes debt review solutions for foreigners in South Africa.  In order to qualify for the NCR debt review process as a foreigner, there are certain criteria that need to be met.

What Are The Requirements to Apply for Debt Review  as  Foreigners

There are four main requirements:

  1. Debt review applicants must have a valid RSA I.D. or passport number
  2. Debt review applicants must receive a permanent monthly income
  3. The debt accrued must be with South African creditors
  4. Additional documents will be required (which we’ll cover further below)

Let’s take a more in-depth look at what the qualifying criteria entails.

Foreign Debt Review Applicants Must Hold a Valid Passport or I.D. Number

Before you can apply for debt review at Sandton Debt Counselling, it is important to note that – as a foreigner – your application will only be considered if you are in receipt of a valid passport.  If you are a foreign national with permanent South African residency, you’ll need to have a valid South African I.D. number to apply for debt counselling.

You Must Receive a Permanent Monthly Income

Debt counselling is designed for employed persons, or those who have some source of permanent income, but still can’t meet their monthly financial obligations.  Since the debt review process requires you to make a monthly payment, this unfortunately excludes those who are unemployed, or doesn’t receive any income.

As a foreigner applying for debt counselling, it is important that you can prove that you have a permanent and stable income source.  You would be required to furnish proof of your income, such as payslips and a Letter of Employment.  If your income is from another source, applicable proof will be required. 

As we do with all of our clients, Sandton Debt Counselling will do the necessary checks to confirm that you have a steady monthly income source, and that you thus qualify for debt review in South Africa.

Only Debt with South African Creditors Will Be Considered

Irrespective of where you are from, provided you fulfil the qualifying criteria, Sandton Debt Counselling can assist foreigners to apply for debt review.  It is, however, important to understand that SDC can only process your debt review application if your debt is with South African credit providers.

It is further important to note that the NCR debt review process is a legally binding procedure that is governed by the National Credit Regular and falls under the National Credit Act.  If you were to leave South Africa, for whatever reason, payment of your monthly debt review instalment must continue until such time that you’ve completed the process. 

This is very important as your debt will not be written off and you’ll still be held legally liable to pay your debt review instalments in South Africa.  If you default on monthly payments, it could have catastrophic consequences in the long run. 

Firstly, it will have a major adverse effect on your credit score, which will affect your chances of applying for credit in South Africa in future.  Secondly, absconding from your debt review obligation could lead to your assets in South Africa being attached.  It might then be very difficult to obtain a tax clearance certificate from the South African Reserve Bank if you have unpaid taxes.

Note that these would be the resulting consequences – whether you’re under debt review or not – of not repaying your debt in South Africa when you leave the country.

Additional Documents Required to Apply for Debt Review as a Foreigner

To apply for debt counselling in South Africa as a foreigner, you’ll be required to provide additional supporting documentation, such as bank statements.  This will present clear and transparent proof of your financial situation and allow us to process your debt review application more effectively. 

Other documentation might be requested.  Let’s use your source of income as an example.  If your monthly income is from an investment, retirement annuity, rental earnings, etc – you would be required to provide relevant documentation.

What if Your Debt is in Another Country?

If your debt is with creditors in another country, Sandton Debt Counselling cannot assist as it is not covered under the National Credit Act of South Africa.  We recommend that you get in touch with debt review companies in the country where you have debt – or if debt review is not an option in that country, attempt to make payment arrangements with creditors directly.

Contact Sandton Debt Counselling to Consolidate Your Debt in South Africa

Sandton Debt Counselling is here to assist foreigners who meet the criteria to successfully apply for the NCR debt review process.  Our skilled and friendly team of debt experts will guide you through the process – starting with an obligation free assessment.  Complete our online contact form and we’ll be in touch within two business hours – it’s the only step you need to take towards financial freedom!

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