If you’re one of millions of Canadians with mounting debts problems and more and more bills vying for your hard-earned dollars, you don’t have to go it alone. No debt situation is hopeless. You too can break free of debt – with the right kind of help.
What is a
Debt Management Plan
Debt Repayment or Debt Management Plans are a tool offered by non-profit credit counselling agencies that can help you get control of your finances and back on track to living the debt-free life you want to lead. Your dedicated credit counsellor can also help you determine if entering into a debt management plan (DMP) is appropriate and if not lay out all your available options.
What are the benefits?
Creditors want debt solutions as much as you do. Chances are they will be more receptive than you think to give you the time you need to pay debts. It always helps when a proper debt repayment plan is put in place through an accredited credit counselling agency.
Depending on your situation, there are several options to get out of debt, which your credit counsellor will discuss with you. One of the options may include a debt repayment or debt management program.
A debt management program can be viewed somewhat like debt consolidation. Your credit counsellor will work with you and your creditors to arrange your debts into one affordable monthly payment that is divided among your creditors. You will determine what you can afford for a payment each month, while still maintaining a reasonable lifestyle.
The program will aim to:
* Reduce your monthly payments
* Reduce your interest and other fees
* Eliminate calls from creditors
* Repay all debts in a reasonable time frame
*Re-establish your credit
* Relieve stress
How it works?
A system is set up for convenient monthly payments that are fully secure and tracked. Throughout the program you will have the support of your credit counsellor. They will conduct regular financial reviews, help you to improve your money management habits and lead you towards successful completion of the program.
First, your credit counsellor helps set up a voluntary agreement between you and your creditors. People who sign up for a DMP, make one lump payment each month to the non-profit agency who then sends those funds directly to your creditors. By participating in this type of debt management program, you may benefit from reduced or waived finance charges or fees, and experience fewer collection calls. When you work with a Credit Counselling Canada agency on a debt management program, your accounts are credited with 100 percent of the amount you send in. When you have completed your payments, the fact that you repaid your debt in full, and according to the plan, helps you re-establish credit. Having a set lower monthly payment, takes the pressure off of your budget and enables you to build your personal savings, purchase a car, or even your first home.
To set up a debt management program you will need to have a credit counselling appointment with a certified credit counsellor.
Debt management plans and your credit
Participating in a debt management program won’t have a negative effect on your credit score. Though there will be a note in your credit report that says you’re enrolled in a debt management plan, it’s not something the credit bureaus use when determining a credit score. Often, certain aspects of a debt management plan have a positive impact on your credit score. Your timely payment history, which can account for 35% of a credit score, will positively impact the score as will the decline in the amount you owe, which can be up to 30% of the score. Because you are involved in a debt management plan, there won’t be any inquiries for new credit, which can be 10% of the score. Opening a lot of new accounts in a short period of time has a negative effect on your score. In the end, participating in a debt management plan will be a positive factor in terms of your credit.