As part of ‘The Debt Panel’, The National published an article about an Abu Dhabi resident who has accumulated debt of more than AED 200,000 on personal loans and credit cards, and is now struggling to make repayments on time.

I live in Abu Dhabi and am struggling to stay on top of my credit card debts. I asked some banks to grant me a buyout loan but none of them is willing to help me. I earn Dh7,300 a month as a document controller and with that comes free accommodation, food and transport. In total I owe:

• Personal loan 1: Dh153,000 (with a monthly EMI of Dh3,652)

• Personal loan 2: Dh19,000 (EMI Dh1,609) – this was converted from a credit card debt

• Credit card 1: Dh15,000

• Credit card 2: Dh17,000

• Credit card 3: Dh3,000

I took the personal loan a few years ago to help repair my parents’ home in the Philippines and to allocate funds for my sister’s college expenses, which she has now finished. At first, I was able to meet all my payments with a little amount to send back home. But then I had to send more and I sacrificed the payments on some cards until it got out of control. I have now missed two months payment on my three cards and I’m afraid I will miss next month’s payment too if I not do anything to help myself. I also owe my friends Dh8,000 and they want to be paid this month. The collectors are calling me non stop asking me about the payment, and I’m about to lose myself at any moment because of the stress. Please help, I just need to regularise my cards and I will be OK. I tried to avail of a personal loan holiday payment for two consecutive months but I was rejected because my account is negative as I took a salary advance of Dh3,900. My last resort is a buyout loan for all my liabilities. Can you give me advice on how I can get this?

Here is what Ambareen Musa, one of the debt panelists and Founder & CEO of, had to say.

With a combined debt of Dh207,000, which definitely brings your debt-to-income ratio over the minimum 50 per cent allowed by the UAE Central Bank, a buyout loan or debt consolidation doesn’t seem like a possibility. Your best bet would be to negotiate a restructured repayment plan with your primary bank (the one you transfer your salary to, and most likely have the personal loan of Dh153,000 with). This could translate into an extension in loan tenure or reduction in interest rate, thus making repayments more manageable for you…

For full article go to The National.