I’m Drowning in Debt in New Zealand and South Africa. – Drowning

“Dear Steve,

50yr female, 2weeks back in South Africa; 2years out of SA; made redundant few mths after obtaining work+work permit in NZ; unable to obtain work+renew work permit; borrowed money in SA to go + borrowed in NZ for airfare back home. Job hunting now; pennyless; no possessions; living off relative.

Suffers from Osterich Syndrome; did not inform creditors when I was no longer able to make payment/repayment.Just collected Notice of default for o/s amount of R27000-00 payable within (now) 9 days or ELSE!!!

How do I respond. Where do I go for help when I can’t pay anybody upfront for assistance and I cannot make a commitment on paying o/s bills until I am employed.


Dear Drowning,

In South Africa you can meet with registered debt counsellor for free to review your options. See a previous post of mine, “How Do I Find a Registered Debt Counsellor in South Africa? – Flo” for links.

As far as New Zealand goes, let’s deal with one problem at a time here. There is no sense to focus on New Zealand yet until we solve the underlying issue, income.

Do You Have a Question You'd Like Help With? Contact Debt Coach Damon Day. Click here to reach Damon.

Granted, you are in a bad spot right now. One that nobody would want to be in. The best approach is the following plan:

  1. Contact a debt counsellor in South Africa using the link above.
  2. Attempt to compartmentalize the situation. The debt is one issue but you need to do whatever you can to not let it consume all of your mental energy. It is what it is and that all that it is.
  3. Break free from the ostrich syndrome and get your head out of the sand. Start taking charge of whatever small task or goal you need to. Reward yourself for small steps of progress. Start moving forward and taking charge.
  4. The critical key to resolve the overall debt problems is income. You need to break free of the panic and fear and get your head in a place where you can face the grueling task of finding a job.
  5. Don’t believe you are a victim. Take charge, take control, and take back your life.

If you become a willing participant in resolving this situation, instead of someone this is happening to, ultimately you will emerge better for it.

Please update me on your progress by

Get Out of Debt Guy – Twitter, G+, Facebook

P.S. Be sure to read ‘The Secret of Surviving Through Difficult Economic Times. What I Learned On My Journey‘.

Damon Day - Pro Debt Coach

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Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
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