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Where to turn

Where to Turn

If you are like most people and turn to the internet for help, you will have noticed that when you do a Google search looking for help for your financial woes – you are inundated with information and different types of organizations offering solutions.  So, which is the best route for you to go?  A very daunting question, for sure.  Not every option is ideal for every person, but here are a handful of the more common ones.

Bankruptcy

Even though bankruptcy is typically a ‘last resort’ option, it is an option and it will certainly relieve your debts.  When you file for bankruptcy, all of your unsecured debts will be wiped away and you can start over from scratch.

The unfortunate part is that you may have to give up some of your possessions and the record of filing might follow you around for several years.

Consumer Proposal

A consumer proposal is an excellent debt relief option when, after looking at your budget, you have extra money and are able to pay a portion of your debt without interest.  If the majority of creditors accept this proposal, it becomes a legally binding process that all parties are bound by.  You make your monthly payments to the trustee and the trustee pays the creditors.

When you’re finished, you are marked as ‘paid in full’, but your credit rating will be affected for a while moving forward.  The reason that creditors accept this type of deal is because they don’t want you to file for bankruptcy, because in most instances they get nothing.

Consolidation

A consolidation loan is a common debt relief option that a lot of people are able to use.  In basic terms, you will take out a loan that incorporates all of your different debts into one.  Then, you can stop making multiple payments each month and dealing with multiple creditors and just focus on one.

A word of caution about consolidation loans – sometimes you will be required to provide a co-signor or security against existing assets.

Credit Counselling (Orderly Payment of Debt)

Credit counselling services like the ones provided by Money Mentors in Calgary, may be an option if you have student loan debt or only owe a small amount of money.  The idea of the ‘Orderly Payment of Debt’ program is that you pay back the full amount of debt plus interest of 5% per debt over a period of time.

Other Credit Counsellors

If a credit counsellor is not licensed through the government, an individual needs to use extreme caution when dealing with these individuals and organizations.  A settlement offer through an unlicensed organization is not necessarily recognized by your creditors.  If you are asked to pay fees up front, understand that you may not be dealing with a reputable organization and you may find yourself off in a far worse situation than the one you were trying to correct.

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