It can be a tricky situation when you find yourself with some extra money, and yet you have debts that need to be paid. Saving money is good, particularly in South Africa, where most people are losing their source of income because of the corona virus. On the other hand, you want to be debt-free. In such cases, the best way is to reason out all the facts, so you end up with a win-win solution.
The best way is to look at each option independently. In this way, you can see the general advantages of prioritising each option. However, since your financial circumstances are unique, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to this decision.
It is considered best to save enough money to cover the cost of living for three or six months. By opening a savings account with high-interest rates, you can quickly build up your savings. So, if you find yourself with a little extra cash, just put it aside in a separate account and watch it grow.
The easiest way is to budget for your monthly repayments. Any extra money that you get can go towards making those repayments. To make the repayment process more manageable and less costly, you can look at other options such as debt consolidation and credit card balance transfer. These allow you to place your debt under one account while lowering interest payments.
Analysing all the factors involved and how they apply to you can help you make the right decision. Saving and paying off debt both have their good points. Therefore, you can benefit from taking a two-way approach.
This means putting extra cash into an emergency fund while at the same time using some of it to pay your debts. At the end of the day, the goal is to have peace of mind. Staying in control of your debt and having an emergency fund can both help you to achieve this freedom.
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Having an emergency is something we can all understand. What happens when you urgently need money but your pockets and bank account are empty? The answer to that is you get stressed, desperate, and you might even face failure.
So many bad things can happen if you don't prepare for any crisis. But, this is where an emergency fund comes in. It allows you to be smart, save money, and plan ahead. In essence, you become your own superhero by saving yourself on rainy days.
In simple words, an emergency fund is money that you keep in an account. This money is saved specifically and only for unplanned costs that happen in life.
When you create a budget for monthly expenses, you often write down the things you know about, like your grocery and transport costs. What about the things that you don't know about? These are the things that demand your money, and yet you didn't plan for them.
Examples include falling sick and having to pay for medical bills or having your phone stolen, and now you have to buy a new one. In more serious situations, you can even lose your job or source of income. In such cases, you might not have the cash you need to survive while you look for other ways to make money.
In South Africa, it is normal for people to live from paycheck to paycheck. So, when they now have to pay for things they didn't budget for, they usually borrow. However, borrowing or taking a loan or using credit cards are not perfect solutions.
You can find yourself in a negative cycle of always borrowing money and having to pay it back. Besides, this can get super expensive because you may also have to pay interest each time you borrow money.
By saving money and putting it into an emergency fund, you can remain independent and on top of things during emergencies. Even when there is no emergency, you still have peace of mind knowing you are at least prepared just in case something does happen.
Keeping your saved money in your mattress at home is never a good idea. Instead, you can set up an emergency fund by opening an account. Most banks and financial institutions can be trusted to keep your money safe. You can keep your emergency fund in the following types of accounts:
As the name suggests, a savings account is the perfect place to build a nest egg. Money that you put in a savings account gains interest over time. However, you can't use the money on a daily basis, although you can still make withdrawals.
Additionally, in your agreement with the bank, you may be required to make monthly deposits. There are also high yield savings accounts that are insured.
This is the account you use in your day to day financial dealings. For example, this is the account where you usually receive your salary or income. You can have a separate transactional account where you keep your emergency fund. However, most transactional accounts have monthly charges, and your money will usually not gain any interest.
To find out more you can also get help from an experienced financial adviser on other ways to create your emergency savings fund.
When you start saving the money, it takes time to build your emergency fund. The best thing is to have an end goal in sight and work slowly towards that. At the end of the day, you should have enough money saved to meet your needs in an emergency.
Some experts say that you should save at least three months of your salary. In contrast, others say your emergency fund should have enough money to last you six months when you're not working. But only you can decide the amount of money you can afford to save and how long it will take you. You can use the following ways to save money:
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“There’s no other tool in South Africa that quickly and easily compares that many lenders, and I have no doubt that the service will become extremely popular.”
So many bad things can happen if you don’t prepare for any crisis. But, this is where an emergency fund comes in. It allows you to be smart, save money, and plan ahead. In essence, you become your own superhero by saving yourself on rainy days.
When you create a budget for monthly expenses, you often write down the things you know about, like your grocery and transport costs. What about the things that you don’t know about? These are the things that demand your money, and yet you didn’t plan for them.
In South Africa, it is normal for people to live from paycheck to paycheck. So, when they now have to pay for things they didn’t budget for, they usually borrow. However, borrowing or taking a loan or using credit cards are not perfect solutions.
As the name suggests, a savings account is the perfect place to build a nest egg. Money that you put in a savings account gains interest over time. However, you can’t use the money on a daily basis, although you can still make withdrawals.
Some experts say that you should save at least three months of your salary. In contrast, others say your emergency fund should have enough money to last you six months when you’re not working. But only you can decide the amount of money you can afford to save and how long it will take you. You can use the following ways to save money:
South Africa is a nation of borrowers, with personal debt at an all-time high and the national debt reaching highs. Statistics published by the South African Financial Services Board (FSB) in 2012 estimates that only 51% of South Africans are financially literate.
Everyone deserves to have a better understanding of how to manage their hard-earned money and to understand the basics… from understanding what Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) are to maintaining a good credit score.
Many people are not even aware of their credit score and the impact the rating. It’s only when loan application are rejected or exorbitant interest rates are charged, that users finally realise the importance of a good credit rating. So, what should you do, to improve your credit rating? Let us guide you on how to manage your credit score, and if your credit score has already taken a hit, how can you heal it.
A credit score is an indicator of how consistently and timely you have paid off your previous debt(s). A bad credit score indicates defaults, late payments, or too many applications for credit (short term loans, credit cards, vehicle finance, etc). This alerts the lender to potentially reject your application or to charge a higher interest rate because of the perceived risk.
Any adult that has applied for credit, be it a credit card, vehicle finance, mortgage, personal loan or any other type of debt, will have a credit score. If you put in an application for any of these products, your credit score is pulled up, and your request is evaluated based on the rating.
In the Rainbow Nation, the credit score typically ranges between 330 and 850, use this as an indicator of where you may stand:
Having a 580+ credit score will make your life easier when it comes to getting approved for credit cards or small loans. Additionally you may be charged a lower interest rate for having a good credit score. Conversely, having a score below 580 can throw a wrench into your essential life plans; from not getting approved for an education loan, to paying higher interest rates… A poor credit score can pose many issues. T
Keep in mind that if your score is low, it takes time to re-build the score to a level that is considered acceptable by lenders.
Do not run from the reality as it is never the solution. Knowledge is power; it will only help you take the first step in your quest for a good credit rating. According to the National Credit Act, South Africans are entitled to one free credit report per year. Credit bureaus such as Transunion or sites such as vehicle finance can help you get your credit score.
Your repayment history has a significant impact on your credit score. More than a third of your credit rating is impacted by your ability to make repayments on time. So be sure not to miss your repayment deadlines.
If possible, do not max out your credit card or overdrafts. It could be an indicator of poor spending habits, moreover, it will leave you with less credit available for emergencies and will increase the amount of interest you pay over time.
Unstable or irregular income, frequent changes in address, among other things, are considered warning signs by lenders. So try to hold down a job for a longer duration and move around less frequently.
Being summoned to court can be seen as a potential risk for lenders, as this could impact your ability to work and bring about extra expenses. So if possible, avoid unnecessary courtroom drama.
If your professional career is progressing well and you’re confident about the future, it’s recommended you have no more than a couple of credit cards, a mortgage and a car loan/car lease.
Being able to demonstrate that you have high limit credit cards and very little due at the of the month or that you repay most of your debts in full will help your credit score. However, keep in mind that if you plan to get a mortgage; high limit credits cards are seen as liability by the banks… even if you owe nothing on them. So consider reducing your limits when applying for a home loan.
If you have unused lines of credit such as credit cards or overdrafts, close them. The lending notify credit agencies of the closures – and you’ll seen as a lesser risk for lenders in the future.
Each time you apply for credit, your credit score takes a hit. Your credit rating could take a hit of 10% each time you apply.
If you find yourself rolling your credit over through credit card balance transfers regularly, consider tightening up your belt and getting a debt consolidation loan to pay off your debt once and for all.
You may be a greater save, but that doesn’t show financial institutions how well you manage debt. So consider a low fee credit card that you rarely use and always payoff on time. A good long credit will help your credit score considerably.
If you get married and start making plans such as getting a mortgage together; your partner’s credit history can impact the success of your application. Ask them about their credit rating prior to making big financial decisions. If they don’t know, get them to check credit score through a ratings agency.
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South Africa, 10 June 2020. Financial Independent Press launched CompareLoans.co.za, a website that aggregates and compares personal loans and vehicle finance from over 30 South African lenders. The service is independent and 100% free to use.
In a first for South Africa, CompareLoans displays interest rates and estimated loan repayments for all major lenders without requiring users to submit their personal information. The aim of CompareLoans is to provide consumers with greater transparency and clarity when they shop around for a loan.
CompareLoans was created by the Australian firm Financial Independent Press, using a platform they developed for the Australian market; BestFind.com.au. It took several months to redevelop the website for the South African market and to source local product data.
Pierre Lintzer, Chief Operations Officer for CompareLoans said “We’re extremely excited to launch CompareLoans.co.za and for the opportunity to help the forty thousand plus South Africans who search for a loan each month.”
“When researching where to expand our operations after Australia, it was quite surprising to see how opaque the South African market for personal finance was. And we’re going to change all of that.”
Lintzer added that the immediate priority for CompareLoans is to establish working relationships with South Africa’s major banks and lenders and to consolidate the platform to provide the best possible user experience.
“In Australia, the popularity and dominance of financial comparison and aggregator websites has meant that most major financial institutions proactively inform us about upcoming interest rate and product changes.”
“As we initiated our launch in South Africa, the banks and independent lenders have been very cooperative in sharing their rates, fees and related data. They are very supportive in our endeavour to bring greater transparency into the lending market and that’s great for customers” Lintzer added.
Beyond data and relationships, CompareLoan’s other priority will be producing educational content focussed on money management and financial well-being.
“Knowledge is power. Providing accurate information and educational content to help South Africans better understand money and financial products will be our core focus.” Lintzer concluded.
For further information
Looking for a personal loan, vehicle finance or a payday loan? We provide transparency, simplicity and choice by comparing over 30 of South Africa’s top lenders.
Our service is 100% free to use and is independently owned and operated.
Follow us on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.
Visit www.compareloans.co.za to learn more.
About Financial Independent Press Pty Ltd
Founded in 2017 by Dennis Graham and Pierre Lintzer with the launch of BestFind.com.au to help provide transparency, simplicity and choice to the Australian consumer market. Covering a range of loan and deposit products, we have helped more than 1 million users in their search for the right financial product.
We’re continuing our growth through global expansion. We have recently launched in South Africa and plan to continue our expansion across key markets.
Photo by Matthew Henry from Burst
As a country knee-deep in debt, we are here trying our best to educate our readers about different types of financial instruments for lending and borrowing. We talk about everything ranging from personal loans to payday loans!
In this article, you will learn about the advantages and disadvantages of a loan and costs involved.
Whether or not you are approved for a larger loan amount depends on your credit score is and your ability to service (repay) the debt. If you have managed to avoid defaults, there is a good chance that a large amount will be granted to you by lenders.
Loans are considered better for people needing a large amount of money, whereas, credit card limits increase as you use the credit card, depending on your spending and payback habits. The whole process takes up more time than getting the one-time approval on a large loans.
There are usually no restrictions on how you can spend a granted loan except for loans granted for specific purposes like housing, car loans or education loans. However, in the case of general loans like personal loans, you are free to use them for your urgent needs or in any way you please.
Although we always advise our readers to keep in mind that the money borrowed may not have any restrictions, but that only leaves more room for incessant spending that lacks self-discipline.
The loan can be paid back over term (duration) which you and the lender agree upon. But remember, while you still have an outstanding balance, the high interest costs can put a dent in your future spending.
Evaluate your income before getting a loan as you do not want to default on its repayment. Make sure you calculate all the costs involved in getting a loan and have money left aside for emergencies. Defaulting or being late on repayments could damage your credit score or leave you in a debt trap.
The average credit score of a citizen of South Africa is below 560, meaning that most of its citizens do not qualify for a loan. There may be lenders that give out loans to a low credit score, but that usually comes at a very high cost.
Loans can fund whatever it is that you want now, but it comes at cost of possibly doing less in the future. So consider carefully whether or not you need a loan. Because after you take into account all your other expenses, such as your phone, travelling costs, food AND the loan repayments… You might not have a lot left over for important things, like going out with friends or short term emergencies.
The bigger the loan, bigger the repayments… So don’t borrow more than what you need. Your income and credit score determines your borrowing capacity. The higher your income and credit score, the more you can potentially borrow.
This is how lenders make money from borrowers. The interest rate can be seen as a “charge” that you have to pay for borrowing money and compensating the lender for the risk they take in lending the money. If your credit score is high or if you secure your loan, you’re likely to get a lower interest rate.
This is to pay for the staffing costs and other overheads (such as rent, their websites, etc) that are involved in processing your loan application and administrating it. Service fees are usually paid monthly.
If you choose to repay a loan in 1 year instead of 2 years, your monthly repayment amount will be greater. You will repay the loan faster and pay less interest. However, if you want to have a bit of extra cash at the end of the month in your pocket, you may choose a longer term. Your monthly repayments will be less, because they’re spread over a longer term – but at the end you will end up paying more in interest.
We hope that this article will help you in your journey. Remember to research well and always know your capabilities and capacities so that you never end up in a difficult position. If you want to see who has the lowest fees and interest rates as well as flexible terms, check out our personal, vehicle and payday loan comparison tables.
For a newly bought car, depreciation is one of the highest costs that car owners incur. The second the key is turned in the ignition, the freshly bought car loses 20% of its value. Albeit inevitable, there are multiple ways in which this progression can be slowed – from purchasing a vehicle that consistently maintains its value to keeping tabs on maintenance.
The second you buy your car, the value comes down before you are even off the driveway. Thankfully, there are ways to reduce the blow to the value of your vehicle:
Some of the indicators that a future car owner can look for in prospective models are – excellent fuel economy, a reliable reputation, and low running and maintaining costs. Your best bet will be to pick for a model that retains its value in the best way possible. Manufacturers that have been recognised by companies such as J.D. Power usually mean that they bring out vehicles with stellar quality, which, in turn, means a lower depreciation rate. Certification from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) can ensure the safety of your vehicle.
Keeping the above checklist in mind while shopping for a car helps you to recover some of the costs lost to depreciation during resale.
It can be confusing to gauge the resale value, three to five years down the road. Some of the confusion can be alleviated if proper research is done before buying the car. Websites such as AutoTrader and Cars.co.za help you estimate future prices of different cars. Every year, Kelley Blue Book publishes a list that gives information on the top list of cars with the best resale value. Websites like these can be immensely helpful in narrowing down your search for an asset that depreciates at a slower rate.
Picking the colour affects the resale value of a car in more ways than you can think. Colours such as white, gold, silver, grey, black, etc. remain in constant demand and are better at maintaining value. On the flip side, it will be harder to find buyers for a car that’s been painted neon or a rare color.
Evaluation of all the options available in the market also helps you in conducting a cost-benefit analysis. Leasing can be one option to lower depreciation if the buyout price of the car at the end of the lease is lower than the resale value.
Another option is to buy a second-hand car; the majority of depreciation is absorbed by the first owner, and the loss in value is reduced considerably.
If you’re considering vehicle finance to purchase a car, be sure to check out our comparison table to see who offers the lowest rates and best features.
New cars come with a warranty and finding a manufacturer that allows the transfer of the warranty to the next owner of your car – can help maintain the car’s value .
Want to maintain your car in the best shape? Keep reading for some tricks that prolong the life of your vehicle and also help in lowering your depreciation:
A well-maintained car will inevitably have a higher resale value compared to a neglected one. Heed your dealer’s advice and bring in your vehicle at scheduled intervals for servicing and regular upkeep. Another important tip is to keep records! Documentary evidence makes you a responsible car owner in the eyes of buyers and makes depreciation much less costly.
If the car has fewer miles on its odometer, then the resale value will be higher. If a vehicle has been driven more, the chances of it malfunctioning increases.
Accidents have dual damaging effects on your car. Major accidents can damage the vehicle more permanently, and not to mention the cost of repairs can practically empty your wallet (if there is no insurance or insurance doesn’t cover the repairs). Another hidden effect of accidents, insurance premium goes up, and an accident report will forever be attached to your car. This harms the resale value of your car severely.
A clean car is a reflection of its owner. Regularly vacuuming, using fabric and car freshener spray, avoiding eating and drinking in the car, maintaining the leather seats, and frequent trips to car wash, are some tips that can go a long way to preserve the value of your car.
People tend to customise their cars with unusual modifications to make it stand out from the rest of the crowd; personalisation may render your car less attractive to prospective buyers. While the option is great in the short term, it may not be practical in the long run as buyers may not be too keen to pay for the customisation.
Two main pointers that can assure you to get the best deal when you want to sell your car are:
Based on your car’s specifications, build and model, identify the strengths and gauge the market for your vehicle. For example, a convertible might not be in demand in winter as much as it is in the summers. Also, keep continuous tabs on your car’s model, discontinued or upgraded models could lose considerable value.
While many people might prefer exchanging their old car for a new one at a car dealership, it is usually a trap to get you to sell the car at a lower rate than what you could have gotten in the market. If you are not in a hurry, take the time to search for private buyers that will help you to realise a much higher price for your car.
By staying updated and making smart decisions, you can reduce depreciation costs, ensuring that you lose less money!
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We all could do with an extra grand in our pockets or purses… But how do we get it there? A bunch of entrepreneurs have created apps, that can help you do just that. These sharing and gig economy apps, can help you make some extra cash online or in the real world.
Some of the apps are native to South Africa and other are global.
The gig economy otherwise known as the sharing economy, consists of online platforms and apps that connect buyers with sellers and people who need services, with those who can provide it. These transactions are also known as peer-to-peer or P2P.
If you find work on one of these apps, you’re not necessarily an employee of that company or app… Their platform simply acts as a middleman between you and people who need your goods and services.
We’ve compiled a huge list of all the various gig economy apps available to South Africans (see list below). If you notice something missing… Hit us up on Twitter or Facebook.
We’ll start with some quick money making ideas for the kids first. Coca-cola, video games, clothes… All that stuff costs money. So you can appreciate what your parents have to do, to give you all of that good stuff, it’s time to do a weekend or after school side hustle.
Bolt (ex Taxify) – A clever way to get around when public transport or regular taxi services are not an option. Available on both iOS and Android.
Uber – The most popular ride sharing app in the world, with the widest network of users and drivers.
Yookoo Ride – A ridesharing app that focuses on price and safety, offering 3 payment methods, a panic button and face recognition.
inDriver – The app promises low commissions on their side, direct payments from passengers and highly profitable rides.
Taxi Live Africa – Taxi Live Africa is a South African e-hailing and metered taxi service available for the pan-African market.
Chaufher – Chaufher is a ride sharing service specifically designed by women, for women. Only women are invited to become drivers or riders.
Mr D Food – With 5000+ restaurants to choose from, the service is offered in over 2500 suburbs in South Africa.
Uber Eats – With Uber Eats, you can deliver food from restaurants in your area to hungry customers with your car, motorbike, scooter or bicycle.
Orderin – Orderin delivers your favourite food quickly to your door. The app offers in-app driver tracking so you know when to expect your food.
Fiverr – Affordable English to Zulu translators, voice actors, South African virtual assistants, writers and hundreds more freelance South African services online.
NoSweat – A great talent pool to complete your job, ranging from veterans with many years of experience to fresh talent at a lower price tag.
UpWork – Part of a global talent network, this platform offers a wide range of professionals and freelancers at various price tags to fulfill most needs.
People Per Hour – Find remote freelancers, contractors and consultants to complete your work online.
JobVine Freelance – The freelance section of one of the most popular recruiting sites in South Africa.
TaskRabbit – A marketplace that connects users, needing odd jobs and errands done, to skilled taskers.
Doit4u – South Africa’s marketplace for outsourcing house or business related work.
MicroWorkers – Work from the comfort of your home and choose from thousands of micro tasks.
SkillPatron – Pan African outsourcing marketplace. SkillPatron focuses on bridging the gap between young talents and businesses.
Secret Agent – An application that connects job seekers and mystery shopping job opportunities all over South Africa. Available on iOS and Android.
Clandestine – Clandestine is a platform helping businesses get in-depth customer insights by hiring mystery shoppers.
Opinion Hero – The platform allows you to earn money by taking part in customer surveys, testing new or existing products and through mystery shopping.
AirBnB – The original copy. If you have a spare room, a granny flat or an entire home, you can rent it out to guests from all over the world thanks to AirBnB.
MisterBandB – The first LGBTQ or gay-friendly accomodation finding app. Great to find gay-friendly hosts, travel tips and more.
Homestay – Whether you are a tourist or a traveling student, Homestay will have the right option for you. Benefit from long term rental discount rates with certain hosts.
BedyCasa – Stay with locals, find a bed & breakfast accommodation and beat the hotel rates, these are the BedyCasa promises.
HomeStayin – With Homestayin, you can browse thousands of accommodations and find the perfect host whether you are a traveler or an international student.
Teach me 2 – An effective tutoring service with carefully selected tutors who travel to their students’ place and fit in their busy schedules.
Tuta-me – An edu-tech company that wants to be more than the “Uber” of tutoring by enabling access to high quality tutors to boost academic performance.
TurtleJar – Choose from 150+ subjects and get access to online or face to face tutoring with TurtleJar.
Smarttutor – SmartTutor offers courses in Mathematics for students wishing to matriculate. Their website mentions they will soon offer chemistry and physical sciences courses.
HomeFixer – HomeFixer offers tradesman services to anyone who need to fix something in their homes. The app is available on iOS and Android.
getTOD – The app connects homeowners and handymen, through a secure platform offering in-app billing and pre-screening.
Homify – Homify is South Africa’s online platform for architecture, interior design, building and decoration.
OLX – OLX is a popular South African platform to buy and sell everything from cars to furniture. It also has a job section.
Gumtree – Gumtree is the leading online classifieds platform in South Africa with thousands of ads, from used cars to electronics and real estate.
Yaga – Yaga allows you to sell your brand new, used or forgotten belongings online in a safe and efficient way.
Bid or Buy – A recent auction based e-commerce website offering products ranging from furniture & electronics to fashion and more.
eBay – eBay is the world’s online marketplace. Buy or sell cars, electronic equipment, rare collectibles and much more.
Prim-U – South Africa’s first application that connects beauty entrepreneurs to customers and beauty salons.
Minderz – Minderz puts in relation pet owners and pet service providers, from walkers to beauticians and many more.
Droppa – Bought a piece of furniture that doesn’t fit in your trunk? No worries, Droppa will pick it up and deliver it to your doorstep!
Sweep South – Sweep South is a marketplace that connects local professionals for cleaning, gardening, heavy lifting, and caregiving with people who need those services.
Zulzi – Get your groceries delivered within an hour with this on-demand delivery platform.
TaskApp – TaskApp is the first multi-service, on-demand application in South Africa. From food delivery to house cleaning or home improvement work, TaskApp will sort you out.
Main photo by Lechon Kirb from StockSnap
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