“Your bank statement is your Financial CV!” – Lyle Ryan Irwin, CEO of Mattfin, talks avoiding debt this festive season

“Your bank statement is your Financial CV!” - Lyle Ryan Irwin, CEO of Mattfin, talks avoiding debt this festive season

Written by Staff Writer


By Charndré Emma Kippie


Lyle Ryan Irwin is a Cape Town-based businessman and entrepreneur who hails from Kimberley. Lyle is the CEO of Mattfin (the Western Cape division of the company) – a company that helps people save money properly and be able to put food on the table and take the stress away. He also co-owns LRI Productions – an events and entertainment company that hosts a number of high profile festivals, concerts and lifestyle events in SA.


In 2008 the “The Home Equity Leverage Plan” (H.E.L.P) was developed to assist over indebted homeowners who are permanently employed to save their homes from being auctioned. The focus grew, to securing a means whereby these indebted home owners could salvage their homes, improve their cash flow, credit health and retain their dignity. MattFin is passionate about helping those who desperately require financial assistance, and guidance in personal money management.


Please could you tell us a bit about your background. 

I studied Law, but did not complete my degree. I then decided to take a break. I got into bond origination and finance in 2003, and I simply fell in love with it – I actually happened to be really good at it! In 2006, I saw that there was a cap in the market for it (for clients), as we just came out of the recession of 2004. My clients were struggling to get mortgage bonds or  further advances on their bonds – as they had listings against their names. I then teamed up with a loan company, who issued personal loans to them so that we could fix their ITC, and further get them a bond at the bank. 


What does your role at Mattfin entail?

My role involves leading the company, making important decisions on the market, assisting clients and being involved with the rehabilitation of clients. Mattfin started in 2012 and is still going strong! 


What is your vision for the future of Mattfin?

To grow the company to be one of the biggest origination companies in the world.  


What trends are you seeing, in South Africa, regarding debt consolidation?

Many people do not understand the difference between debt consolidation and debt review – debt consolidation is when all debt is settled in one in full, and debt review is making payment arrangements for pay your debt on and on. Debt consolidation is the best choice, as you take your high interest rate debt and consolidate it in one. 


What do people need to know about improving their ‘creditworthiness’?

Do not take on a loan if you can’t afford it. Every payment you skip has a negative effect on your banking record and on your credit record. Your credit record, as well as your bank statement, is essentially a CV for getting finance. Good finance is always the best. If your account says it’s due on the 30th of the month, and you pay on the 1st of the month, it will still have a negative effect on your overall record. 


What valuable financial tips do you have for South Africans as they face the festive season?

  • Do not waste your bonus! If you are blessed enough to get a bonus, make sure you’re putting it away, and that you save something every month. Do not go out and buy things  that’s not essential. Christmas is just a day. Yes. We have a big lunch, so cater for that, but do not take out debt that’s not needed. Steer away from buying expensive things.
  • Make sure you carry enough money forward for January for school fees and stationery ie. plan ahead for your future finances. Instead of buying big now, wait till after Christmas as many items go on sale then. 
  • Always ask yourself: “Do we really need this or do we want to need it?” And if it turns out to be  the latter, then it’s not something you need right now. 
  • Do not take out unnecessary debt or clothing accounts to buy fashionable things – it’s not needed! We do not know where we are going to end up with this pandemic; we don’t know if we will even have jobs tomorrow. So, it’s important that we save where we can!



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