Everybody is looking to take things to the next level, to shift gears, to go places. That’s growth. Without it, you are standing still. By nature, however, growth is difficult. Sometimes you need a helping hand, especially when you are planning a new chapter for your life.
Sbusiso Kumalo, African Bank’s Chief Marketing Officer, believes that credit should be viewed as an enabler for your life goals. “Many people have a negative perception of credit, which in turn limits their potential to achieve their goals. And yet, when allied with a sound financial plan, credit is often the most effective way to narrow the gap between where you are in life, and where you want to be,” he says.
At a time when everything seems to be that much more expensive, the cost of the best education for your children, or yourself, or even a much-needed vacation, may seem out of reach for most people. It needn’t be. Taking out a loan or a credit card allows you to break down those often astronomical figures into smaller, more affordable chunks that can be safely accommodated in your monthly budget. It’s like an investment in your future, one which you contribute a small amount to each month.
“Taking out a personal loan or credit card does not have to be a debt trap if you approach it responsibly,” says Kumalo.
“That means you have to take active control of your money and not allow money to manage you. Real money management begins with knowing where your money goes and then taking steps to channel it into areas that will benefit you the most.
“If you do need to borrow money, your reasons are important. The mindset you need to adopt is “Borrow to Grow”. It means that when you apply for credit, you are doing so to improve your quality of life. Many people have successfully used credit to improve their future earning potential, or their health, or to give their children the best chance at success. Others have used it to get out of debt and achieve financial freedom. Whatever your vision is, you can use credit as a stepping stone to the next level in your life.”
Kumalo says these are the important factors one needs to keep in mind:
· Would taking out credit help me and my family achieve our goals?
· Will we be better off after the transaction or worse?
· Have I researched all the various options thoroughly and am I making the right decision?
· Will I be able to build new habits and make this credit really work for my family?
· Remember the value in paying off something that helps you grow.
“If you answer yes to these questions, then credit will be a powerful tool you can use to advance your life, and that of your family. The amount you apply for isn’t really that important, it’s what you do with it that counts,” says Kumalo.
“African Bank was started with just R70. We understand the difficult path many South Africans have to walk to reach their dreams, because we’ve walked it too. Our founders had the audacity to believe that it was possible. In fact, they wanted everyone to believe that if there was something worth striving for, it could be achieved, with a little help from us. Borrow to Grow – it’s a simple idea that opens the door to many beautiful possibilities.”