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For individuals in any economy, keeping track of certain indices can be an easy way of working out how to keep ahead of rising costs. Inflation is one such indicator. As a simple guide to inflation, it's important to understand that at a basic level it is a sustained rise in overall price levels. It affects all aspects of the economy, for instance: consumer spending, business investment, tax policies and interest rates.

Debt review is a debt management process that is designed to restructure debt payment plans so that consumers are able to settle their outstanding debts. When individuals are under debt review, the idea is for clients to avoid increasing their debt. The debt review process is governed by the National Credit Act and enforced by the National Credit Regulator.

For many individuals who may have found themselves facing too much debt the number of options they have access to nowadays has increased immensely. Having access to credit generally means that you need to be able to afford to repay creditors too. If you can’t afford to, the good news is that you have recourse in the form of debt consolidation programs. This is a process that converts your multiple debts into a single, manageable monthly loan payment. Debt consolidation may help you to improve your cash flow and may result in a lower monthly instalment.

Being blacklisted can be quite an inconvenience, as it means that you generally can’t get access to the credit you want. If you make the necessary efforts to improve your credit record however, this could change significantly. If you are applying for credit, one of the first steps you should take is to check your credit record. This will give you a good indication of what lenders will focus on and use to gauge how much of a risk you will be.

As a potential home buyer, in today’s harsh economic conditions, when you save for a deposit this gives you a boost. What it says to lenders is that you are reliable and are therefore a lower risk. Saving for a deposit typically means that you can expect a rise in your affordability score. Lenders view this as a sign that you won’t have to borrow too much money from them. Saving for a deposit essentially helps you to prepare for the monthly costs you will be liable for as a homeowner.

Even though having access to credit can be quite useful in a number of ways, if it isn’t needed, then it may be better to avoid getting into debt altogether. How can one avoid getting into debt? Pay with cash whenever possible If you have the option of using a debit card or actual cash where possible, this may be a good way of avoiding getting into debt. By using cash you are forced to become disciplined about how you spend your money.

In the past, choices for applying for a loan were limited to banking institutions. With advancements in technology as well as transformation of the financial sector globally, there has been an increase in the number of lending institutions offering a diverse range of financial solutions. Payday loans are short-term loans, repayable within 30 days. Generally offered for amounts of less than R2500, these loans are ideal for paying off unexpected expenses. There is no collateral required for these loans and interest rates tend to be slightly higher. While this is a general description of what payday loans are and how they work, there is a lot more to this.

Applying for a loan is something that should ideally be done after putting some thought into it. It should be done after doing some research into the procedure, the criteria as well as after asking important questions.

What are some important questions to ask when applying for a loan?

Does it make sense? Determine if it’s the right financial tool for your needs. You may think that you need a loan, but you need to ask yourself if you really do. You may think that you need to apply for a personal loan, when a credit card may be a better option. Be sure to seek the advice of a financial expert if necessary. This will help to save you money in the long run. Instead of having to pay exorbitant interest rate fees for a personal loan you may not have needed, you could rather save money towards a particular goal.