How To Avoid Defaulting On Your Home Loan During Tough Economic Times?

This is a very important question, especially in the current financial climate. Defaulting on your home loan can have serious consequences, such as losing your home, damaging your credit score, and facing legal action.

Here are some tips on how to avoid defaults and manage the impacts of the economy in South Africa:

• Don’t ignore the problem. If you are struggling to make your bond payments, contact your bank as soon as possible and explain your situation. They may be able to offer you some relief options, such as a payment holiday, a reduced instalment, or a term extension. The sooner you communicate with your bank, the more likely they are to help you.

• Check your budget and cut unnecessary expenses. Review your income and expenses and see where you can save money. Prioritise your essential needs, such as food, utilities, and transport, and cut down on luxury items, such as entertainment, clothing, and eating out. Use the money you save to pay off your debt faster.

• Seek professional advice. If you are overwhelmed by debt and don’t know how to manage it, you may benefit from consulting a debt counsellor or a financial planner. They can help you create a realistic budget, negotiate with your creditors, and consolidate your debt into one affordable payment. You can also get free advice from the National Debt Mediation Association (NDMA) or the National Credit Regulator (NCR).

• Stay informed and updated on the economic situation in South Africa and the world. The economy can affect your income, your expenses, and your interest rates, so it is important to be aware of what is happening and how it may affect you. You can read news articles, listen to podcasts, or watch videos on topics such as inflation, unemployment, GDP, debt, and trade. You can also use online tools, such as calculators, simulators, and graphs, to help you plan your finances and make informed decisions.

• You may need to consider selling your home – You can try to sell your home yourself and use the proceeds to pay off your debt.

Tips on how to make your home pay for itself:

Making your home pay for itself is a smart way to save money and increase your property value. There are many ways you can turn your home into a source of income, depending on your preferences, skills, and resources. Here are some tips on how to make your home pay for itself:

• Rent out a room or a unit. If you have extra space in your home, you can rent it out to a tenant, a roommate, or a short-term guest. You can use online platforms, such as Airbnb, to advertise your space and find potential renters.

This can help you cover some or all your bond payments, as well as earn some extra cash. However, you should also consider the legal, tax, and insurance implications of renting out your space, as well as the impact on your privacy and security.

• Start a home-based business. If you have a skill or a hobby that you can monetize, you can start a home-based business and use your home as your office or workshop. For example, you can offer services such as tutoring, pet sitting, photography, or graphic design. You can also sell products, such as crafts, baked goods, or clothing. You can use social media, websites, or online marketplaces to promote your business and reach customers. However, you should also check the zoning and licensing regulations in your area, as well as the tax and insurance requirements for running a home-based business.

• Install solar panels. Investing in solar energy is a great way to reduce your electricity bills and generate passive income. Solar panels can help you harness the power of the sun and convert it into electricity for your home. You can also sell the excess electricity back to the grid and earn money from the feed-in tariff. However, you should also consider the upfront and maintenance costs of installing solar panels, as well as the suitability of your roof and location for solar energy production.

• Add insulation. Adding insulation to your home is a sound investment that is likely to pay for itself quickly in reduced utility bills. Insulation can help you keep your home warm in winter and cool in summer, reducing the need for heating and cooling systems. Insulation can also improve the comfort and air quality of your home, as well as the noise reduction and fire resistance. You can add insulation to various parts of your home, such as the attic, the walls, the floors, and the windows.

• Grow your own food. Growing your own food is a fun and rewarding way to save money and eat healthily. You can use your backyard, balcony, or windowsill to grow a variety of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers. You can also raise chickens, bees, or worms for eggs, honey, or compost. Growing your own food can help you reduce your grocery bills, as well as your environmental impact. You can also sell or trade your surplus produce with your neighbours or at local markets.

Shaun Rademeyer, CEO MultiNET Home Loans says in closing “Don’t wait if you are struggling to pay your home loan, act as soon as possible. Contact your lender and explain your situation. They may be able to offer you some options, such as a payment holiday, a reduced interest rate, or a restructuring of your loan. Do not ignore the problem or hope it will go away. Acting early can help you avoid legal action, repossession, or a negative credit record.”

For more information: 0861 54 54 44 | WA 061 537 8778 | |

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