Do you want to learn how credit works so you can prevent additional credit card debt? Or maybe you want to learn how to make a budget but keep getting stuck on how to start. If you want to improve your financial knowledge and create a plan to address your debt issues, consider credit counselling in Burnaby. The Licensed Insolvency Trustees at Allan Marshall & Associates have the specialized training and experience to help you with your debt needs.
What is Credit Counselling?
Credit counselling is a service designed to help individuals understand how they got into debt and how to make better financial decisions in the future. In a credit counselling session, a Licensed Insolvency Trustee will assess your debt situation and suggest a solution to meet your needs. For instance, during a counselling session, your credit counsellor might:
- Help you understand the root of your debt issues
- Teach you how to create a budget
- Coach you on proper credit card usage
- Recommend debt repayment strategies that work for your situation.
- Recommend debt relief programs, such as a Consumer Proposal or Bankruptcy
Who Can Provide Credit Counselling in Burnaby?
You can find credit counselling in Burnaby at several not-for-profit and for-profit companies. When looking for a credit counsellor, you should know that individuals can legally call themself a credit counsellor even if they don’t have the proper training.
Licensed Insolvency Trustees are federally regulated by the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy. When you work with an LIT, you can trust that they have the specialized education and qualifications to provide quality credit counselling.
What should you ask a credit counsellor before working with them?
Before you commit to working with a credit counsellor, ask them to explain:
- Qualifications. Do they have any education or specialized training? How many years of experience do they have?
- Fees. What fees do they charge, and is the first appointment with your counsellor free? When you work with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee, your initial consultation is always free.
- Services. What consumer credit counselling services does the company offer? Do they offer help with budgeting, credit consolidation, or debt management plans?
Lastly, steer clear of any credit counselling companies that offer services that seem too good to be true. If a company claims it can solve your debt or credit problems quickly or eliminate your debt, this is a red flag. Fixing your debt and credit issues takes time, and the only government programs designed to reduce debt are Consumer Proposals and Bankruptcies. These two debt relief programs can only be administered by Licensed Insolvency Trustees.
What is a Debt Management Plan?
Some creditors offer debt management plans. A debt management plan allows you to consolidate all of your debts into one monthly payment. When initiating a debt management plan, your counsellor will put together an informal proposal and present it to your creditors. In the proposal, they might ask to reduce or eliminate your interest charges or increase the time you have to repay your debts. In most cases, you will have to repay the total amount of your debt.
Alternatives to Credit Counselling in Burnaby
For those looking to improve their financial knowledge or learn strategies to get out of debt, credit counselling can be a great choice. However, if you are drowning in debt and unable to pay your bills, you might require a more formal debt solution, such as a Consumer Proposal or Bankruptcy.
A Consumer Proposal is a legal debt repayment plan that can only be administered by a Licenced Insolvency Trustee. You work with your LIT to develop an offer to repay a portion of your debt to your creditors, to extend the time you have to pay, or both. If your creditors agree to the proposal, you will make regular payments to your LIT, who will distribute the money to your creditors.
Bankruptcy is another debt relief option that can only be administered by an LIT. While no one wants to file for Bankruptcy, it is designed to give honest Canadians down on their luck, a second chance. In Bankruptcy, you give up some of your assets, and in exchange, you are discharged from many of your unsecured debts. As part of your Bankruptcy, you are required to attend two credit counselling sessions.
Credit Counselling Burnaby – Contact a Licensed Insolvency Trustee
An LIT is the only professional in Canada who can administer the full range of debt solutions, from debt counselling to a Consumer Proposal or Bankruptcy proceeding. When you work with an LIT, you can feel confident they have the specialized training and experience to walk you through each step of your debt journey.
If you need financial assistance in Burnaby, contact our team of debt professionals today. You can call us for a free, no-obligation consultation at 1-888-371-8900 or complete our online contact form.