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Know Your Options
Drowning in Debt?

Drowning in debt and don’t know how to get rid of it? Lost your job, or had your wages cut due the global pandemic? You’re not a alone. Many people in debt have a hard time knowing the best way to take care of it. If you’re having trouble keeping up with debt payments, speaking with a nonprofit credit counsellor can help. A trained, accredited, nonprofit credit counsellor can review your debt situation.  They’ll  walk you through the best options for improving your finances. Unlike many services out there, a nonprofit credit counsellor works for you, not for profit.

Start with a Nonprofit Credit Counsellor

If you’re one of the millions of Canadians with mounting debts problems and more and more demands vying for your hard-earned dollars, you don’t have to go it alone. No debt situation is hopeless. With the right help, you too can break free of debt.

A nonprofit credit counsellor is the best place to start. Nonprofit credit counsellors have your best interest at heart. They help you understand all of your options, organize your credit accounts, and put together a household priority budget. They can even connect with you a variety of helpful community supports. Depending on your situation, a nonprofit credit counsellor can work with you to set up a doable debt repayment plan.  In fact, your plan will include terms that are more favourable than any you could achieve on your own.

Caring and Non-judgmental Support

As an impartial third party, a qualified nonprofit credit counsellor provides advice and tips to help you move forward.  Moreover, the advice you receive is tailored to your specific situation. Here’s how to decide whether you could benefit from working with one.

How Can I Find a Good Nonprofit Credit Counsellor?

To find a reputable nonprofit credit counsellor, look to members that are accredited by Credit Counseling Canada. The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada recommends and works with Credit Counselling Canada.  Better still, we maintain a directory of member organizations — all them nonprofits — that meet our high quality service standards.  Above all, our members offer unbiased, non-judgmental accredited credit counselling services for free, or at low cost to consumers.

Check out this article for more on this important subject.

To help during the pandemic, Credit Counselling Canada members are offering a free financial health check up to anyone in Canada that’s got debt!   Sign up between September 8th and December 3rd 2020 quoting promo code BEDEBTFREE  and you’ll be eligible for a cool prize giveaway.

What Can I Expect When I Meet with a Nonprofit Credit Counsellor?

Your first meeting with a nonprofit credit counsellor should last about an hour.  Whether the meeting is in person or on the phone,  It’s best to prepare for the meeting by gathering the basic facts about your finances.

After the meeting, the counsellor will typically provide a written report.  The report will contain details of your situation and any key advice. For your convenience, the report summarizes what you discussed and the next steps, which you likely discussed as well.

What Does a Credit Counsellor Do?

Nonprofit credit counsellors help you get control of your finances and live the life you want to live. Even if a debt management plan isn’t right for you, an accredited, nonprofit credit counsellor may still be able to help you improve your finances. At the very least, you’ll learn about the best next steps. For instance, a good nonprofit counsellor will guide you toward free educational resources.  These tools help boost your financial know-how so you can face the future better.

What’s a Debt Management Plan?

A debt management plan rolls all your debts into a single monthly payment to make it easier to manage. If you opt for a plan, your credit counsellor will set up the plan and work with all your creditors to make sure everyone is paid on time. 

When you set up a debt management plan, your credit counsellor will work with your creditors to stop them from pursuing collection efforts, charging interest or late fees while you are on the plan. While debt management plans don’t reduce your debt, they can significantly reduce your interest rates,  In addition, they extend your payment timeline to make paying your debt a lot more manageable.

How Much Does It Cost for Nonprofit Credit Counselling?

All services are provided at no cost or low cost.   Moreover, services must be fully disclosed to consumers prior to their receiving service. In fact, Credit Counselling Canada agencies are required to provide services at no cost when an individual/family is unable to pay. You can expect a setup fee of no more than $25  to participate in a debt management program.  You’ll also be charged a small monthly administrative fee to pay your debt through a member nonprofit credit counsellor’s organization.

A credit counseling agency should disclose upfront whether it can provide services at a free or reduced rate, depending on your ability to pay.

Does Debt Counselling Hurt Your Credit Score?

Getting on a debt management plan could cause a slight dip in your credit score, because it indicates you’re struggling with your finances. However, as you build a consistent payment history through the plan, your score will likely improve.

What Other Options Do I Have?

While there are other for profit motivated options out there, such as debt consolidation, bankruptcy or consumer proposal (another type of bankruptcy), you owe it to yourself to speak with an accredited, nonprofit credit counselling as your first best choice. A certified nonprofit credit counsellor will review all the available options with your best outcome in mind, recommending the best path forward for you and your family based on your individual situation.

To learn more about how we can help, speak with a counsellor in your area.

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If you graduated this year, it may be time to begin payments on your student loan. Here are a few keys to make some lifestyle changes that can help you pay back sooner.

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Make learning fun as you take some time this school year to teach your kids about money!

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