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Credit card debt in South Africa is so expensive its costs dwarf any benefit of saving for people who are paying off their cards. If you are one of them and have any doubts about whether to prioritise debt repayment or savings with any additional disposable income, consider some interesting numbers. Don't forget to take your psychological approach to money into account. Mark MacSymon, an independent financial adviser at Private Client Holdings who holds the certified financial planner accreditation and is the 2017-18 Financial Planner of the Year, says the interest rate on unsecured credit transactions such as personal loans can be as high as 27.75% (repo rate plus 21%), and credit facilities such as credit cards and store cards charge interest as high as 20.75%, making these forms of debt "eye-wateringly expensive". He adds: "At these levels of interest, any benefit of compounding is completely dwarfed by the sheer cost of short-term debt, making almost every saving and/or investme...

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