Welcome to the Debt Counsellors Association of South Africa. "DCASA" for short, is a professional body representing Debt Counsellors in South Africa. All DCASA members subscribe to a Code of Conduct, ensuring high ethical standards that will maintain the integrity of the Debt Counselling industry. Since 2007, when the National Credit Act was introduced, DCASA has contributed significantly to the industry by engaging with industry stakeholders such as the National Credit Regulator, The Department of Trade and Industry, Credit Providers and Credit Bureaus.

It is DCASA's aim to develop a streamlined debt counselling industry by setting standards and training members, providing them with various products and services that will allow them to effectively and professionally deliver a service to over-indebted Consumers.


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Debt Counselling

When the National Credit Act was promulgated in 2007, it gave birth to the profession of Debt Counselling. The purpose of Debt counselling is to offer an alternative remedy to over indebtedness than the traditional methods such as Administration and Sequestration could offer.

Although it is a relatively new profession in South Africa, the concept has been proven in countries such as the U.S.A and the United Kingdom.

Further indications of its success is the fact that since inception, in excess of R2 billion has been paid over to Credit Providers through the process of Debt Review.

Debt Counselling has the wellbeing of the consumer at heart, providing a tool whereby a consumer's dignity remains in tact, and ultimately be rehabilitated into the credit market.

Debt Counselling Explained:

Debt Counselling offers a remedy to over indebtedness that has the aim at rehabilitation into the credit market.

Debt Review will protect the consumer from losing crucial assets and keep the Credit Providers from taking legal action on accounts that was lawfully included in the debt review. Any consumer can apply for debt counselling, upon which an assessment will be done to determine the state of over indebtedness. If a consumer is found to be over indebted, the Debt Counsellor will notify all Creditors and negotiate with them in an effort to get the term of each credit agreement lengthened and/or the instalment reduced. In many cases the Credit Providers even agree to a reduced interest rate.

All monthly debt obligations will then be consolidated into one monthly instalment that will cover all obligations under the debt review.

Should all Credit Providers agree to the proposed debt re-arrangement, the Debt Counsellor will file an application with the Magistrate's Court to obtain a consent order which will then enforce the agreed debt re-arrangement.

Should a situation arise where not all of the Credit Providers agree to the proposed terms of the debt re-arrangement, the Debt Counsellor will file an application with the Magistrate's court in an attempt to get a court ruling on the proposed terms of the debt re-arrangement.

The consumer will then make monthly payments according to the debt re-arrangement until balances have been settled or if the consumer is able to continue with payments at the original contracted rates and installments.

As soon as the consumer has settled all obligations in terms of the debt review, the debt counsellor may issue a clearance certificate, indicating that the consumer is now rehabilitated.

Consumers are advised to ask their Debt Counsellors to give an in depth explanation of all aspects of the debt review.

The Process

Step 1

STEP 1Provide details of your income, monthly budget and debt commitments to the Debt Counsellor. You will need copies of your pay slip, ID and the latest statement of all your debt.

Step 2

STEP 2The Debt Counsellor will do an initial assessment to check that you are over indebted then the Debt Counsellor will set up a consultation with you.

This could be a face to face consultation at one of our branches or a telephone consultation.

Step 3

STEP 3During the consultation the Debt Counsellor will verify your budget and your existing debt commitments. A new budget will be agreed and the amount available for debt repayment will be determined. The Debt Counsellor will also provide you with details of all the costs as well as an interim repayment plan. this is when you officially apply for Debt Counselling.

Step 4

STEP 4The Debt Counsellor will contact all your Credit Providers as well as the Credit Bureaus to verify your debt. You will also be listed on the Credit Bereaus that you are under debt counselling. This listing will stay there until you have paid everything off, then it will be completely removed. The Debt Counsellor will, whre possible, negotiate a proposal with all your Credit Providers.

Step 5

STEP 5The Credit Providers may accept the proposals and if all of them do, then a Consent Order will be obtained from a Magistrate Court. If one or more of the Credit Providers do not accept the proposed repayment plan the Debt Counsellor will submit a proposal to the Magistrate for a decision.

Step 6

STEP 6The Debt Counsellor will provide you with a final repayment plan and this repayment plan is also submitted to a Payment Distribution Agency (PDA). The aim of this is to collect a single payment from you and ensure that the correct amount is paid to all Credit Providers on a monthly basis. This will continue until the debt has been repaid.

Fee Structure

The NCR published fee guidelines that all debt counsellors must adhere to. The guidelines have been published to ensure that Debt Counsellors do not overcharge already burdened consumers, and to ensure that the Debt Counsellor can make enough to sustain his/her business.

The Debt Counselling Fee Guidelines:

  1. An Application fee of R50 + VAT in terms of the National Credit Act, Schedule 2 (2).
  2. A rejection fee of R300.00 (excluding VAT) when an application for debt review is rejected.
  3. A Restructuring fee less or equal to the first instalment of the debt re-arrangement plan with a maximum of R6000 (excluding VAT)
  4. In case of a joint application the fee may be increased to R6000 (excluding VAT)
  5. A monthly After-care fee of 5% (excluding VAT) of the monthly instalment of the debt re-arrangement plan with a maximum of R400 (excluding VAT) for a period of 24 months. Thereafter 3% (excluding VAT) with a maximum of R400 (excluding VAT) for the remaining period.
  6. Should the consumer withdraw from the Debt Review Process after a certain stage a fee equal to 75% of the restructuring fee will be payable by the consumer.
  7. A legal fee of R750 in the 2nd month for the debt counsellor to obtain a consent order when all credit providers consented to the debt re-arrangement.
  8. Any additional cost for further legal processes. The debt counsellor should be able to present proforma invoices issued by the attorneys involved.
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