Article from The Star dated 15 October 2012
Credit Counselling and Debt Management ever ready to help you control your finances
KUCHING: Sarawakians with difficulty paying their huge debts have been advised to seek the help of Credit Counselling and Debt Management (AKPK).
AKPK chief executive officer Koid Swee Lian said the agency, set up by Bank Negara Malaysia in 2006, was there to help any consumer to resolve his problem.
She said aside from providing financial counselling and debt management to individuals, AKPK also provided financial education to help individuals take control of their financial situation and gain peace of mind that comes from the wise use of credit.
She said even consumers who had multiple loans from many lenders were welcome to meet the agency.
Koid, however, reminded consumers that AKPK was not giving out loans, but only helped to make arrangements with the bankers.
She said before an arrangement was made with the bankers, the consumers must enrol themselves for the AKPK’s debt management programme (DMP).
“Under the programme, we will assess the situation. First of all, a person must have net disposable income to pay their debts.
“If not, let’s say RM1,000 a month is not doable for the consumer, we will negotiate with their lenders, who are all under the purview of Bank Negara, for a lower amount.
“So instead of RM1,000 we can have RM400. For example, if you have five lenders, we can negotiate so it can be at RM80 per lender,” she told a press conference here yesterday.
Koid said under such situation, AKPK might lengthen the period of repayment.
“More often, the bankers are happy with our proposal because they still recover the money or at least the principal,” she said.
Koid said at present, AKPK had 81,596 active customers nationwide under the DMP which assisted individuals to regain financial control.
She said in Sarawak, about 6,000 individuals had attended AKPK’s counselling programmes, which were conducted three times a week in Kuching (Monday, Tuesday and Thursday) and once a month in Miri and Sibu.
Koid said to date some 2,720 consumers in Sarawak were under the DMP.
She said aside from counselling, AKPK also organised public briefing for the public at 2.30pm on Wednesday and 10am on Friday to help clients understand how AKPK’s DMP works.
Briefing and counselling were free of charge.
In order to engage AKPK’s free service for debt management, you need to have a positive source of income after meeting your expenses, your total debt does not exceed RM2mil, you are not under advanced litigation process, and you are not a bankrupt.
AKPK can be contacted at 082-414 910.