Ahad, Ogos 29, 2010

Young and in debt

2010/08/29
Audrey Vijaindren


GETTING the keys to your first car, buying a piece of designer wear and furnishing a new service apartment are proud moments for any youngster, however, the urge to splurge can quickly lead to financial downfall. It has been shockingly revealed that 41 Malaysians aged between 25 and 44 have been declared bankrupt daily for the past five years, making it a total of 38,357 bankrupt individuals in 65 months.

The Credit Counselling and Debt Management Agency (AKPK) chief executive officer Mohamed Akwal Sultan says the number of young adults seeking advice is high.

“During the economic slowdown last year, more than 3,000 people were coming to AKPK for consultation and advice on a monthly basis. Almost 50 per cent of them were between 30 to 40 years old, and 15 per cent were in their 2 0 s. ” Financial problems for young people are generally sparked off by two things — cars and credit cards.
“The main problem with youngsters, for example when it comes to purchasing cars, is that they overlook other cost factors attached to a car such as insurance, toll, parking and maintenance of the vehicle. Car buyers need to look beyond monthly instalments of the vehicle concer ned.

“Many youngsters are opting to finance the vehicles purchased for longer loan periods and many decide to change their cars after five years or so. Some may even change the vehicle earlier as well.

“For this, they must take note that in the first few years of paying for a vehicle, they will be paying a large portion consisting of interest payments first.
“Hence, before considering to sell your vehicle, best to check with the bank concerned on what the final settlement value of the car is and to inquire around the approximate price they can sell their vehicle for.

“If the price they can get on their vehicle is higher than the final settlement amount to the bank, then they can consider selling their vehicle without having to worry about any differential settlement to the bank.” He says there are people in their 30s who have financial problems because their parents could no longer bail them out.

“The rationale is many people start working in their 20s and during that period, their parents are still able to help them financially when the need ar ises.
“But once they get to their 30s, most of their parents have retired and they are left to fend for themselves.

“Hence it points to good money management skills which are ver y much needed by that individual to ensure he or she is able to be financially independent.” Another big mistake, he says, is mismanagement of credit cards.

“We always tell people to be wise in using their credit card. When using a credit card for purchases, firstly ensure you are able to pay it back when the statement arrives.

A credit card is to be treated as if it’s your own cash and all transactions should be tracked to ensure repayment capability.

“If unable to repay the outstanding in full, always pay more than the minimum five per cent due each month.”

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