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Credit Counselling Surrey – Take Control of Your Finances

Credit Counselling Surrey

Are you dealing with a mountain of credit card debt

Unfortunately, credit cards do not come with an instruction manual. Even if you apply for a credit card (or two) with the best intentions, you never know when you’ll need to use your card to cover an unexpected expense. Whether your car breaks down or you need to replace your furnace, you often find you are unable to pay your bill at the end of the month. 

Credit card issues can also result from a lack of budgeting and credit card management. Unless your parents modeled these skills or you took a finance class in school, you probably have limited education on these topics. This is where credit counselling can help. If you’d like to improve your financial knowledge on proper credit card use or budgeting, you might consider credit counselling in Surrey

What is Credit Counselling Surrey?

The purpose of Canadian credit counselling is to help individuals struggling with debt improve their financial knowledge and skills. A credit counselor can help you address your debts, teach you how to create a budget and assist you in creating a plan to achieve financial goals.   

Where to Find Consumer Credit Counselling Services?

Both not-for-profit and for-profit companies offer debt counselling in Canada. Before committing to a credit counsellor, make sure to do your research, and ask about:

  • Fees. Will the counselling company charge you initial set-up fees, monthly administration fees, or membership fees? Is the first credit counselling consultation free?
  • Qualifications. In Canada, credit counsellors are not legally required to have specialized training. Make sure you ask your counsellor about their education and experience.  
  • Services. What consumer credit counselling services are offered? Credit consolidation, debt management plans, other debt solutions?

When you receive credit counselling from a Licensed Insolvency Trustee, your first session is always free. You never have to question if you are being overcharged, as LIT rates are federally regulated by the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy. LIT qualifications are also federally regulated to ensure they have the proper education and specialized training. 

LITs are capable of offering the widest range of debt help options as they are the only professions in Canada that can legally administer formal debt relief solutions, including Consumer Proposals and Bankruptcies.

What is a Debt Management Plan?

While Licensed Insolvency Trustees do not offer debt management plans, some credit counselling companies do. A debt management plan is a form of debt consolidation where you can combine all your debts into only affordable monthly payments.

Your counsellor can put together an informal proposal for your creditors requesting to reduce or eliminate interest or extend the time you have to repay your debts. While your creditors can propose a debt management plan, your creditors are not obligated to agree. This process is completely voluntary and, in most cases, you will have to repay the total amount of your debt. 

Will a debt management plan affect your credit score?

A debt management plan will show up on your credit report and will negatively impact your credit score. The credit bureau will remove the debt management plan from your credit report two years after you pay off all your debts.  

Alternatives to Credit Counselling in Surrey

When you meet with an LIT, they will assess your financial situation and suggest a solution to help you get out of debt. The solution will depend on factors such as the amount of debt and if you can keep up with your debt payments. If you can no longer pay your bills on time, your LIT might suggest a more formal debt relief solution like a Consumer Proposal or Bankruptcy. 

Consumer Proposal

While LITs do not offer debt management plans, they can administer Consumer Proposals. What is the difference? While a debt management plan is an informal proposal to your creditors to consolidate your debt and reduce your interest payment or extend your repayment period, a Consumer Proposal is a more formal process. 

In a Consumer Proposal, you work with your LIT to create an offer to your creditors to pay a percentage of your debt, extend the time you have to repay your debt, or both. You have up to five years to pay off your debt. 

Bankruptcy

In some cases, filing for personal Bankruptcy is the best way to find debt relief and start fresh. In Bankruptcy, many of your assets are sold to pay back your creditors, and in exchange, you are discharged from most of your unsecured debts. While filing for Bankruptcy can feel like you’re admitting financial defeat, remember that it is designed to help honest Canadians who are down on their luck get a second chance. 

Contact a Licensed Insolvency Trustee – Credit Counselling Surrey 

If you’re looking for financial assistance in Surrey, give us a call. Our LITs offer credit counselling, along with other debt relief solutions and they can explain each option to you so that you make an informed decision.  You don’t have to deal with your debt alone, we are here to help. Reach out at 1-888-371-8900, fill out our online contact form, or visit our office to learn more about credit counselling in Surrey.

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