As part of The Debt Panel, The National published an article on the debt woes of a Dubai hotel worker who owes AED 70,000 to banks, friends and family.

I have lived in the UAE for 10 years and work as a food safety officer in a Dubai hotel. I am broke and am haunted by banks calling me to pay off the loans and credit card debt I have accumulated during that time. I owe Dh60,000 as I have three loans from three banks and I have four credit cards as well. On top of that I owe a further Dh10,000 to friends and relatives – this has ended with fights and hurt feelings and lost trust. I borrowed the money to renovate my home in the Philippines but as I earn Dh5,000, my liabilities are now beyond my capability to pay. I have missed payments due to lack of resources. I now need your advice. JN, Sharjah

Here is what Ambareen Musa, one of the debt panellist and founder and CEO of Souqalmal.com had to say.

A debt worth Dh70,000 on a salary of Dh5,000 is definitely high. However, with the right mindset and determination you will be able to turn your situation around.

In your case, since you are struggling to repay your monthly debt obligations, a good starting point is to approach the banks and speak to them about restructuring the terms of your loans. This will help you stretch the tenure of your personal loans and lower your monthly instalments. As for the outstanding amounts on your credit cards, these must be increasing due to the high interest rates, so you should talk to the card providers to discuss the possibility of converting these cards into fixed-interest loans, which you can repay monthly.

For full article go to The National