In most families, the role of a father figure is to provide for, protect and to ensure that the family’s financial wellbeing is managed. With the current financial pressures and increase in the cost of living, most families will find themselves under immense financial pressure.

According to National Debt Advisors (NDA), over 60% of its client base are males between the ages of 29 and 48.

In celebration of South African Father’s Day yesterday (19 June 2022), Sebastien Alexanderson, founder and debt counsellor at NDA, says: “A lot of financial strain is put on the father figure to support the family unit, and often the issue lies with trying to hide the burden from their spouse. Unfortunately, credit is often turned to in a time of need, but can very quickly turn to over indebtedness, and it remains a huge challenge in our country.”

The latest Credit Stress Report 2022 Q1 revealed that roughly half of all credit active South Africans are financially stressed. The report is compiled by market research consultancy Eighty20 in collaboration with credit information bureau XDS.

By using a customer profiling tool, the report indicates that younger, low-income men, with little credit and high unemployment have the highest credit stress levels in the country. It also shows that Middle-class workers, with middle income, credit active with families, cars and mortgages are the second most stressed.

“Pre-pandemic mortgages and vehicle loan debt combined with job losses have created a spike in the high credit stress levels,” says Alexanderson. “The country’s economic conditions have had a significant impact on the credit needs of South Africans and their ability to repay debt. On top of that, avoiding or hiding debt is never a viable solution as repayments and the effects of compound interest can cause the debt to grow quickly and partners may be liable for debts accrued by their other half, even when they weren’t aware of the debt.”

He says the joint applications at NDA – that is when both spouses seek debt relief – reveal that 76% of this group are males as the main applicants.

Sadly, many fathers are unaware of the debt assistance that they have access to. In times of financial stress, one has access to a debt counsellor to allow for debt review. “If you’re struggling to make ends meet, get in touch with a registered and reputable debt counsellor to get guidance to a debt free future.

“It’s normal for the father figure to want to financially manage the household, however in times of financial hardship, it’s important to know that assistance is just around the corner,” concludes Alexanderson.