First and foremost, I want to express my sincere gratitude towards this newspaper for allowing us some space to air our concern. To start with, as a defaulter on a loan I took out with one of the major financial institutions, I, alongside colleagues and family members, are baffled by the interest and other additional charges.
Imagine, a few months back, you owed N$16 000 as per the information provided by the firm (debt collector), but this amount shoots up to more than N$20 000 in a space of six to seven months.
When you enquire, they explain to you in all sorts of financial literacy language – and irrespective of your understanding or not, the fact of the matter is that interest accumulates every month.
The point I am trying to make is that, where do we get that monthly fee of between N$200-N$300 if we are unemployed for over three years now?
What has worsened our financial troubles is the fact that Covid-19 has put more strain on our every hustles to earn a dollar or two.
Defaulters are suffering in silence, as they are blacklisted left, right and centre for even a few thousand Namibia dollars – mostly by South African firms, with the debt collectors also from the same country, applying their own rules on repayment.
Some colleagues and friends have already lost their household valuables and possessions such as cars because of debt collectors. Our question is, are there no better and more informed re-payment options for defaulters since we are already blacklisted.
Why continue having us on an ITC list for more than five (5) years, yet interest continues to accumulate on our debt.
Our call is for the Namibian authorities, especially the finance ministry and Namfisa to look into the cries coming from various defaulters, particularly in this current economic climate.
Some people die or even commit suicide, leaving their children and grandchildren with nothing, since even their assets are re-possessed by debt collectors.
Please have a human heart and share with the nation how defaulters can pay back their debt in a reasonable time, without being charged high-interest rates.
We know it is us who took out the loans, but we also did not ask to be retrenched. What the debt collectors are doing is like a formal legalised financial crime.
- Unemployed tax-paying citizens