Consumers Encouraged to utilize Debt Management and Credit Advisory Services

01/07/2021 14:14

The Consumer Council of Fiji (CCoF) stands ready to assist consumers who are grappling with financial challenges, particularly those having debts by facilitating discussions for debt restructure with their respective financial institutions and hire purchase companies.

The first wave of COVID-19 last year coupled with the two tropical cyclones has dealt a significant blow to the financial security of many Fijians across the country. This has been exacerbated by the current second wave of outbreak resulting in many Fijian’s approaching CCoF to seek financial advice and assistance in facilitating debt restructure processes with financial institutions through the Council’s Debt Management and Credit Advisory Services.From March 2020, when the first outbreak of COVID-19 occurred, the Council has assisted 108 Fijians in facilitating debt restructure with their respective financial institutions and hire purchase companies.

“The Council is committed to assist consumers facing financial difficulties in managing their debt through financial advice or debt restructure by liaising with financial institutions/hire purchase companies. We have also assisted many consumers in creating a suitable and viable budget to help ensure they meet their everyday living expenses while also meeting debt obligations”, said CCoF Chief Executive Officer Ms Seema Shandil. “We understand that household finance and debt are personal subjects, making consumers reluctant to discuss it with third parties. However, we are reassuring Fijians that CCoF is dealing such cases with extreme confidentiality and dignity.”

Ms Shandil has also thanked financial institutions and hire purchase companies who have already assisted Fijians through debt restructure on their own accord. She is also further iterating that while financial institutions are not mandated to provide debt restructure to each and every consumer, the Council will liaise with them to have requests considered on a case-by-case basis.

Those in genuine need of debt restructure and seeks the Council’s assistance in liaising with financial institutions are urged to contact the Council on toll free number 155 or email complaints@consumersfiji.org. These requests must be supported with evidence that your income source has been compromised because of the pandemic