What Is Credit Counselling
Every year, thousands of Canadians find themselves staring down the possibility of personal financial ruin.
But how they got there, how they can get out of there and how they can make sure they never get there again are all subjects for which help is available.
There are many non-profit, charitable credit-counselling services throughout the country that can help you work through your debt problem. Most operate as non-profit organizations offering free initial consultations. After the first meeting, you may be expected to pay a nominal fee based on what you can afford. Funding for not-for-profit credit counselling comes from a variety of sources, including generous support from creditors, United Way donations, government grants and voluntary contributions. This allows agencies to offer professional counselling at little or no cost to you.
What Credit Counsellors Provide
While bankruptcy might be a possibility, it is not the only one. Credit counsellors can open your eyes to other options.
- The Negotiator: A credit counsellor will negotiate with your creditors on your behalf in an attempt to have your payments reduced to a level you can afford. Many creditors will actually stop interest charges. If this is agreeable to all parties, you will give your counsellor a lump sum each month to distribute among your creditors.
- The Mediator: Alternatively, a counsellor may act as a mediator in helping you to reach a suitable repayment plan with your creditors. Under this type of arrangement, debtors will make their payments directly to the creditor.
- On Your Own: The counselling agency will step out of the picture once the arrangement is struck. Credit-counselling services also offer workshops that can help clients educate themselves so that they avoid financial problems in the first place.