Article from The Borneo Post dated 25 December 2012
BINTULU: The Credit Counselling and Debt Management Agency (AKPK) will offer its free services to the people here at Maybank premises located in the town centre starting January next year.
Clients need not attend any special course unlike at other centres nationwide to apply for the agency’s programmes, the agency’s Kuching credit counsellor Yeo Wee Kiak said.
“They will go directly for the available programmes and meet our financial counsellors.
“For those who need our financial advice, please do make an appointment through our officers in Kuching at 082-414910,” he said when met during the agency’s awareness talk at the Federation of Registered Chinese Association (Forca) Bintulu premises here yesterday.
Among those present were Forca chairman Dr Wong Aik Loung and Senator Datuk Pau Chiong Ung.
Meanwhile, the agency’s Financial Education Department Manager Desmond Chong said the talk was part of their nationwide tour to promote the services which are available for free.
“AKPK is an agency set up by Bank Negara Malaysia to provide money management, credit counselling, financial education and debt restructuring services for individuals,” he said.
For this nationwide awareness talk, he said they are targeting those aged 18 and above.
Since 2006, he said AKPK has received about 200,000 clients nationwide and about 90,000 clients go for the debt management programme.
He said among the services provided by AKPK are financial education programmes on basic money management skills as well as tips on how to use credit responsibly while personal counselling and advice focuses on managing finances wisely, from budgeting and money management to credit related issues.
Debt management programme is one of the popular services and AKPK counsellors will develop a personalised debt repayment plan in consultation with their client’s financial service providers but AKPK does not provide loans or financing.
For the debt management programme, he said there are few criteria that must be met.
Among the criteria are clients must have a positive source of income after meeting their expenses and their personal debts must be with financial service providers regulated by Bank Negara Malaysia. In addition, their total debt must not exceed RM2 million and they must not be under an advanced litigation process and not a bankrupt.
For more details, log on to www.akpk.org.my. This website also provides interactive tools and tips on how to make prudent financial management a way of life.