As part of ‘The Debt Panel’, The National published an article about a customer service agent in the UAE, who owes a total debt of close to AED 200,000, and is looking for a way to settle his personal loan and credit card debt.
I need your assistance regarding my financial situation. I am a customer service agent from Senegal and my salary is Dh6,000, though I sometimes work overtime, earning an extra Dh2,000 or Dh2,500 some months. I currently have four credit cards and one loan. The loan and one of the credit cards are from the bank my salary is transferred to. I built up the debt after trusting a friend and investing in a used tyre business. At first, everything was OK and then he sold the business and moved to Europe and I got stuck in debt and had to face it alone. While most of the debt, which I took on in 2015 and 2016, was from the business, some of it comes from me sending money home to support my family. I usually make the payments on time, but I have missed some recently and all of the cards are over limit as a result. The debts are:
Credit card 1: Dh18,000
Credit card 2: Dh8,000
Credit card 3: Dh50,000
Credit card 4: Dh47,000
Personal loan: Dh70,173
The last card I did not even apply for. One of the sales representatives called me one day to tell me I was eligible for their new consumer card and that I was not required to send any documents.
Now I am receiving calls every day from banks threatening to file a police case. I have stopped contacting banks myself because most are not willing to help out due to my bad credit history. As to my monthly expenses, from my Dh6,000 salary I send Dh1,200 to my wife and kids every month, pay Dh1,500 for a shared room and the loan repayment is Dh2,192. I just about manage transport and food. I am looking for a bank that will offer a consolidation loan to close up the credit cards.
Here is what Ambareen Musa, one of the debt panelists and Founder & CEO of Souqalmal.com, had to say.
You mention that the majority of the debt is a direct result of investing in a failed business run by your friend. This was a bad decision with red flags marked all over it, particularly as you took out a personal loan and racked up credit card debt to invest in a business that wasn’t even owned by you. To make matters worse, this has also severely affected your credit worthiness.
Now you’re stuck with Dh193,000 worth of total debt, which is 32 times your fixed monthly salary…
For full article go to The National.