HOW WE CAN HELP

CREDIT
COUNSELLING FAQ

Am I eligible for your services?

Answer > Credit Counselling Canada member agencies serve anyone who needs help managing money and credit as well as reducing or eliminating debts.

Is there a fee for your service?

Answer > All services are provided at no cost or low cost and must be fully disclosed to consumers prior to receiving service. Credit Counselling Canada member agencies are required to provide services at no cost when the individual/family is unable to pay.

What qualifications do your counsellors have?

Answer > All credit counsellors are required to have the Accredited Financial Counsellor Canada certification through the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education. Courses in the certification include Personal Finance and Financial Counselling. Credit counsellors obtain additional various certificates through courses related to personal finances including the Insolvency Counsellor’s Qualification Course though the Canadian Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Professionals. Many of our counsellors come from a financial and/or counselling background which further enhances their ability to assist you.

What do Credit Counselling Canada members do? How can they help me?

Answer > Credit Counselling Canada member agencies will set up an appointment for you to speak with one of their certified counsellors in person or by telephone to review your financial situation. They will assist you with money management tools and information to help address your personal financial concerns.

How can you help me with my debts? Do you loan money?

Answer > Credit Counselling Canada members offer debt repayment programs for consumers having difficulty meeting their monthly payment obligations and requiring assistance. They will contact your creditors on your behalf and propose a payment schedule based on your ability to pay. This program doesn’t involve loaning money to you. A debt repayment program consolidates your monthly debt payments and gives you the opportunity to repay all your debt while maintaining a reasonable budget.

Will my creditors continue to contact me after going on a debt repayment program?

Answer > Once the creditors are contacted in writing by a Credit Counselling Canada member agency, they will generally contact the agency for any details or information they may need about your file. If you continue to receive phone calls, immediately refer the creditor back to the agency. You are still responsible for the debt and creditors may contact you particularly if you miss a payment.

Will the creditors stop the interest while I am on the program?

Answer > The debt repayment program is a voluntary program supported by most creditors. Creditors may reduce or forgive the interest along with ongoing charges/late fees to help you repay your debts in a reasonable amount of time. It is not guaranteed that all creditors will agree to reduce interest.

How is a debt repayment program different from bankruptcy?

Answer > CCC member agencies offer an impartial point of view and will only make suggestions based on your current financial situation. Whether you choose to file bankruptcy or not, is your decision. A debt repayment program is offered as an option to help people repay their debts with manageable payments. It also provides a higher rating on a credit report than filing for bankruptcy which makes it easier to re-establish credit once all debts have been paid.

How is a debt repayment program different from a consumer proposal?

Answer > A consumer proposal to creditors is a legally binding procedure that is administered for the courts through a licensed trustee in bankruptcy. Both you and your creditors are bound to payment arrangements made through the trustee. Usually the amount repaid is less than the full amount. Your financial position must allow you to meet these arrangements, as the default results in bankruptcy. A debt repayment program is an informal voluntary arrangement which allows you to pay your debts in full, usually at reduced interest rates.