Do your debts feel unmanageable? Are you looking to restore financial confidence and take the weight of money worries off your shoulders? You can receive expert credit counselling in Calgary with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee (LIT).
If you’re seeking debt consolidation, credit counselling in Calgary can help you to consolidate and reduce your debt to improve your financial wellbeing. Bankruptcy isn’t the only way out of debt – sometimes, with the right budgeting advice and step-by-step guidance, you can become debt-free for a brighter and more comfortable future.
What is credit counselling?
Credit counselling is a debt relief option that involves you meeting with a credit counsellor, or Licensed Insolvency Trustee (LIT), to discuss your financial situation. LIST are also credit counsellors, who can help to offer you money management advice to support you on your journey to becoming debt-free.
With their help, you’ll put together a plan of action on how to manage your debts. They’ll help you to put together a budget, review your credit report, credit score and create a debt management plan as a way to consolidate your debts.
Your Trustee can contact creditors on your behalf and ask if they’re willing to reduce or eliminate the interest rates on your debt. They can also ask your creditors if they’re willing to extend the timeframe that you need to pay your debts by.
Credit counselling isn’t just about your money, but your emotional wellbeing too. You’ll talk through your concerns with a licensed professional, while gaining tips on budgeting and how to set financial goals. You’ll work together to find a resolution to your debt problems, getting you on the path to financial resolution.
When should you consider credit counselling?
If you’re struggling to manage your debt payments, credit counselling might be a good option for you. Here are some reasons you may consider credit counselling:
- You want professional advice: LITs are experts in their field. They can offer a range of options depending on your needs, from budgeting advice to money management.
- You have a lot of unsecured debt: Putting together a debt management plan with your credit counsellor can help you repay your unsecured debts, like credit card or loan repayments.
- You want to consolidate your debt: A debt management plan can help consolidate your debts. Your LIT can contact your creditors on your behalf and ask them if they’re able to reduce or eliminate the interest rate on your debts. They may be able to extend how long you have to pay back your debts. Just remember – a debt management plan is not a legal process. Your creditors do not have to accept the plan – instead, it is a voluntary agreement made between you, your counsellor and your creditors.
What about credit counselling companies?
If you’re looking for credit counselling, you have two options. You can either choose a credit counselling company or agency, or work with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee to help you manage your debts.
While both a credit counselling company and LIT offer similar services, they have their differences. Here are some factors to consider when deciding which route to take:
- Fees: Unlike a credit counselling company, a Licensed Insolvency Trustee is restricted by what it can charge you by the Bankruptcy Insolvency Act. Credit counselling companies are often paid a fee from the companies you owe, for collecting the money from you. They may also request you to pay a fee for them negotiating with your creditors. Whereas, an LIT can provide free consultations and won’t ask for an upfront fee.
- Limited options: Credit counselling companies may be limited to just one approach when offering you advice. They may not have the background to be able to provide alternative solutions to your debt. Whereas, a Licensed Insolvency Trustee is required by law to discuss all of your possible debt relief options, from Bankruptcy to credit counselling.
- Protection: Credit counsellors are not federally licensed, so they don’t have power over your creditors. Whereas, you’ll receive full protection from creditors with an LIT, when filing a Consumer Proposal or Bankruptcy. By filing a Consumer Proposal, this can stop interest charges and penalties, and can be less expensive than services offered by credit counselling companies.
- Unrealistic expectations: Be mindful of credit counselling companies that make unrealistic guarantees – such as promising to make all your debt problems disappear overnight. The goal of credit counselling should be to help guide you to change your financial habits over time. With a Trustee, you’ll receive a free consultation to go through your finances. From there, you can decide if credit counselling is the right choice for you or if another service may suit you better.
Looking to improve your financial wellbeing?
If you’re looking for a bankruptcy alternative and support with your finances, we have recently opened new offices in Alberta to offer expert credit counselling for those struggling with debt who need a helping hand.Here at Allan Marshall & Associates, we pride ourselves in having caring and experienced Licensed Insolvency Trustees who take the time to understand you and your financial situation. Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your credit counselling options and move towards becoming debt-free.