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Debt Advisor Profile
Debtfree Magazine spoke to longtime debt advisor Karl Schweidler, who lives in the Western Cape. We have to ask him how he started out as a debt counselor and how he finds new clients. We also ask about some of the challenges debt counselors and consumers face in debt review.
Wineland Debt Counselor
Cell: 082 716 7909
How long have you been a debt advisor (as of 2021)?
I’ve been in the industry for 11 years now.
What did you do before you became a debt counselor and why did you enter the industry?
I worked at ABSA for 20 years as a so-called “Risk Mitigation Officer” and it broke my heart when I had to take people’s wealth. I was ready for a change to help people with debt.
What makes your company a success?
We have succeeded by building trustworthy, dedicated relationships with all of our customers.
Where can you find new stores?
Most of my new clients are people who have been informed about Debt Review and recommended by our existing clients.
What challenges do you currently see on the lender side?
Sometimes, some loan provider staff still lack good communication and, occasionally, understanding.
What’s the biggest challenge? Debt counselor at this moment?
Debt counselors were also affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Not only with the obvious health challenges, but also with many debt counselors facing salary cuts and some losing their jobs or being unable to continue their practice. Times are tough in every industry.
What is the biggest challenge for your existing customer? consumer at this moment?
Unfortunately the loss of loved ones. In many cases, where this is the breadwinner, this can lead to their inability to make the agreed payments (or even payments). This also applies to those who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic and have no insurance cover for it.
In extreme cases, it can even leave the debt review falling apart, exposing them to loss of assets and all of the progress they have previously made in deleveraging.
What advice do you have for consumers experiencing debt stress from the lockdown and pandemic?
Get financial advice from your bank as soon as you are under pressure. Consult a debt counselor anytime and have a chat. Don’t wait until it’s too late. The good news is that there is light at the other end of the tunnel.
What advice do you have for consumers who are already under debt review?
Communication is the key. Stay in touch with your debt advisor and keep these lines of communication open.
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