• Ru Harris

Indebtedness: How Level Helps

indebtedness

[ɪnˈdɛtɪdnəs]

NOUN

· the condition of owing money.

· "the industry is taking steps to reduce indebtedness and cut costs"


Making it to the next payday used to be a hard struggle for Dominique Lieveaux, a compliance officer at IFE Elevators. The 31-year-old mom recalls her monthly rendezvous with a loan shark, she dubbed “my friend”.

“He became ‘my friend’ because I was constantly taking loans from him. When I got paid, he was the first person I paid because I knew I will need him again during the month,” Dominique explains.

If you can relate to getting into debt to make it through the month, then you are one of millions of South Africans who are heavily over-indebted. In the past six years, the average loan size has increased by 45% in SA. According to DebtBusters, consumers are spending on average 62% of their take-home pay to service debt.


And it’s not only low-income workers who are struggling to keep head above water financially. Employees, who take home more than R20 000 a month, use two thirds of their income to repay debt.

Like many of these employees, Dominique started sinking deeper and deeper into debt.

“I always fell short with money for things we needed in the house, to pay debt, or if I needed to see a doctor. By repaying the loans with interest to ‘my friend’, I couldn’t pay my rent in full, and I fell behind on my rent,” says Dominique, who often borrowed between R150 and R500 and sometimes she’d take a lump sum of R3000 at 40% interest.


“Paying back the high interest crippled me financially for the next month and the next month,” she says.

Dominique was convinced that she had fallen into a vicious cycle of indebtedness with little hope of ever getting out.


When IFE Elevators introduced Level Finance, she saw her opportunity to finally get rid of this “friend”.

“Because I knew him well, I could arrange with him to pay him back over six months. I used my earned but unpaid wages to pay back the mashonisa and to get my rent up to date.


“I feel so relieved because a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I am in a better financial situation now and while I still use the on-demand pay service now and then, I don’t need it every month.”


FACTS ABOUT ON-DEMAND PAY:

  • Employees can use their own money to cover unexpected expenses and bills that are due before pay day

  • Using your own money reduces the risk of overdraft fees

  • Using your own money decreases your reliance on high interest credit cards or payday loans

  • You don’t need to tap into expensive credit that will lead to indebtedness

 


 

Earned Wage Access (EWA) is not just about allowing employees access to their pay for financial emergencies. Responsible EWA platforms, such as Level Finance, provide financial education as well as free savings and budgeting tools that enable employees to become financially savvy and reach their financial goals. Level Finance pairs financial health assessments with financial education to help employees gain a holistic view of how prepared they are to meet different financial needs.


By using Level’s earned wage access, an employee can save on average R6900 per year in fees and interest, which can be re-directed to:

  • Create an emergency fund

  • Repay or reduce debt

  • Saving for a holiday or save for your child's education


When on-demand pay is combined with automated budgeting and savings tools, which employees can actually use, it also can:

  • Boost workforce retention

  • Reduce reliance on on-demand pay

  • Build employee financial health and resilience through savings

Besides reducing employees’ reliance on expensive/bad credit, Level improves employees’ financial health through:

  • Financial education and counselling

  • Automated savings

At Level Finance, we work on financial solutions that level the playing field for low-income workers. Learn how you too can avoid one penalty at a time, reduce one debt at a time, and realize one dream at a time. It's time to LevelUp at www.levelfinance.co.za or WhatsApp us on 072 120 8762

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