Family and Credit Counselling Services
Serving York Region
Resources & Tools
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Is Your Debt Spiralling Out of Control? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check These Warning Signals

 

Ø  Are you putting off bills until the second notice?

Ø  Are you paying the minimum due on your credit cards?

Ø  Do you and your spouse or partner argue over money on a regular basis?

Ø  Are you paying more than 20% of your take home pay per month on installment debts, not including mortgage?

Ø  Are you constantly receiving calls from creditors and/or collection agencies?

Ø  Are you feeling stressed over your financial situation?

Ø  Do you feel that you could and should be managing better, but can never quite make ends meet?  

Ø  Do you regularly take out cash advances on your credit card in order to pay for everyday living expenses?

Ø  Has your overall debt load been increasing over the years?

Ø  Do expenses like car repairs and Christmas gifts contribute to a financial crisis?

 

If you have answered ‘’yes’’ to any of the above, you may need help with money or debt management.

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Helpful Sites

 

The following links will provide you with additional information on a variety of topics:

 

The Ontario Problem Gambling Helpline-http://www.problemgamblinghelpline.ca/

 

Community Legal Education Ontario-http://www.cleo.on.ca/en

 

Ministry of Consumer and Business Services-http://www.sse.gov.on.ca/mcs/en/pages/default.aspx

 

Canadian Bankers Association-http://www.cba.ca/en

 

CanadaStudent Loans-http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/eng/jobs/student/loans_grants/index.shtml

 

National Student Loans Service Centre http://www.canlearn.ca/eng/common/help/contact/loans.shtml

 

OntarioStudent Loans-https://osap.gov.on.ca/OSAPPortal

 

Credit Reports- Equifax-http://www.consumer.equifax.ca/home/en_ca

 

Credit Reports-Trans Union-http://www.transunion.ca/

 

Ontario Government Site with Links-http://www.ontario.ca/

 

Financial Consumer Agency of Canada-http://www.fcac-acfc.gc.ca/

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Questions and Answers


How do debt management and credit counselling programs work?

Our programs allow you to pay off any existing unsecured debt under a new set of terms. These will include elimination of interest, lower monthly payments, and waived late and over limit fees. Declaring bankruptcy or taking out a new loan is not required.

 

How will I know if these programs are suitable for me?

If you’re finding that you can only make the minimum payments on your bills and your balances are not going down, we can help. If you are behind in your payments and are receiving calls from creditors or collection agencies, we can help. Anyone who is seeking confidential advice on money issues, budgeting help or debt management programs is eligible for our service.  All backgrounds and lifestyles are accepted on equal terms.

 

My creditors are calling demanding money that I do not have. Can you help?

Most creditors will be supportive once they hear you have an appointment with us. Creditors are willing to cooperate and work with us towards resolving client problems. Once you meet with one of our credit counsellors, your current financial situation will be carefully assessed you will be provided with several options to help you resolve your creditor issues.

 

Will a Debt Management Program really be able to handle all payments to my creditors?

Yes. You make the agreed payment to us each month and we place the money in a trust account. The money is then disbursed to your creditors once a month on your behalf. The program works with all types of unsecured debt including credit cards, retail cards, loans, lines of credit, collection agencies, payday loans etc.

 

Will anyone know that I have gone to Credit Counselling?

Nobody will be informed that you have used our service unless you tell them yourself. We will never disclose any personal information without your written consent. Please see our privacy policy for more details.

 

If I am paying less money towards my debts in your program how long will be remain in debt?

Debt management programs are designed to last no longer than five years.  The debt owed can be paid much sooner depending on the size of your debt and whether you are able to pay. Those enrolled in the debt management program will be able to pay off debts quickly because many creditors will waive or reduce interest charges.

 

Wouldn’t an equity loan be a more efficient way of paying back creditors?

A new loan will not reduce your present debt; it will only reshuffle the credit problems you are already facing. You could even lose your home if you begin to fall behind on your mortgage payments.

 

Will a debt management program have any effect on my credit rating?

Your creditors may report your accounts as being paid back slowly or may record a negative mark if they drop the interest rate. However it will also be reported that you are making a sincere effort to resolve your debt problem and this is a positive note in your credit file. Creditor reports normally stay on record for a period of two years after your final debt management program payment.