It is important to understand that some level of debt is to be expected; for example, there is no point telling your helper that she is never allowed to take out a loan if she already has one. Also, many of us need a loan at some point - for example, if you’re purchasing a house or have a medical emergency.
To start with, try to hire your helper either directly or through an ethical employment agency to avoid her having to pay high recruitment fees. You can also help her set up a bank account and encourage her to save.
Speak to your helper in a calm, non-judgemental way about borrowing money. If she does need a loan in the future, let her know she can speak to you first, if you are open to this. We do not advise signing a loan as a guarantor, but you can either choose to lend her the money yourself or help her ensure that the loan company is licensed and that the terms are fair. Caution her against signing a friend’s loan as a guarantor as that can leave her liable.
If your helper already has a loan, remind her of her obligations to pay and encourage her to speak to you first if she is struggling with her existing loan or if she intends to take a new one.
It is also important to set a good example by paying her salary on time, providing her with payslips and paying her by bank transfer if possible.
Prevention is better than cure! Sponsor your helper to attend our financial and empowerment education programmes so she can learn how to stay in control of her finances and plan for her future.