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Experiences From The Ground: Sharing by a Counselling and Processing Unit (CNP) Staff

I have been working with Credit Counselling Singapore (CCS) for more than 5 years. I started off my career in CCS as a case administrator which involves processing cases that have been counselled by the credit counsellors.

In 2020, I was given a chance to be trained as a credit counsellor together with some other colleagues. The training helped to broaden my horizon on how to handle and assess cases. The acquired knowledge and skillset allowed me to provide more direct services to the distressed borrowers.

Over the past few years, I have served distressed borrowers from different walks of lives.  They all shared one common goal, and that is to address their financial issues and repay their debts. Through working with the distressed borrowers, it affirms the truthiness of a hearsay “being lucky is not a must”.  Individuals who have debt issues is akin to walking in a dark tunnel, struggling to find an outlet to exit the tunnel.

Among the distressed borrowers that I have met, there were two of them whom I remembered the most. The first one is Mr X. His case was assigned to me for processing a couple of years ago.  Mr X used to be a businessman operating his own company. Due to business failure, he was indebted.  He wrote an email to me after his case was submitted to and approved by his creditors.  Mr X wrote that being in debt did not bother him as much as the challenge to accept the fact of becoming a salaried worker instead of being a boss.  Instead of instructing others what to do as a boss in the past, he had to follow instructions given by his employer now. It was tough for him to go through and accept this transition in his social status.

Madam Z is the second client who I will not forget. She was a client I counselled during the COVID-19 pandemic period.  Madam Z shared that she had been looking for options to settle her debts for a long time and choices were all exhausted.  She felt helpless and hoped that we could offer some assistance or advice on her financial issues.  After going through an hour of credit counselling, I told her that we could put up a Debt Management Programme (DMP, a monthly installment debt repayment plan) on her behalf for her creditors’ review, she broke into tears over the phone. She was thankful and relieved that her heaviest burden had been lifted.

I am grateful to be able to serve CCS distressed clients in resolving their debt problems.  Deep in my heart, they are individuals with self-respect who took ownership of their problems and are brave to reach out to us for help.

Fostering financial resilience and being a trusted organisation for all debt matters is the vision of CCS.

Contributed by Tam Vivian, Credit Counselling Singapore. 

Published 30 December 2022.