South Africans are using almost half their salaries to pay off debt

PayProp, the country’s largest processor of residential letting transactions, has released new data showing how much South Africans spend on rent and debt repayments each month.

The group’s statistics show that there is a growing gap between men and women, with males typically out-earning females across the country.

Payprop said that women pay just over R7,500 in rent each month, while men spend just under R8,500 on this expense category.

By comparison, both men and women spend substantially more on debt repayments each month, the group said.

Men spend 47% of their income on debt, leaving 25% as disposable income after debt and rent repayments. Women spend 44% of their income on debt, leaving 23% as disposable income.

“Men spend a higher percentage of their income on debt despite earning substantially more,” said Johette Smuts, PayProp’s head of Data & Analytics.

“This could perhaps be attributed to the fact that certain household costs are included in debt repayment figures, including insurance, cellular contracts and DStv – all of which are usually carried by the household member with the highest income.”

This means that women have seen an increase in their disposable income compared to a year ago,  while men’s average disposable income has fallen by over R700 since Q3 2018.

“Despite the differences in credit metrics it is interesting to note that men and women have essentially identical credit scores on average, indicating equal levels of risk – in the last quarter, the average was 633 for men and 632 for women, both unchanged from the year before,” said Smuts.

Read: This is what could happen to your bond if your land is expropriated – according to South African banks

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South Africans are using almost half their salaries to pay off debt