Debt OptionsFour Steps to a FreshStart
Step 1. Knowing When
Do you have a debt problem?
It is important to recognize the signs of debt in your life.
Those signs may include:
- You continually spend more than your available income, or you have to use your credit card to get by each month
- You are always borrowing money to make it from paycheque to paycheque
- You have a garnishment against your salary to pay for outstanding debts
- You can only pay service charges or make interest payments each month, and you are unable to reduce your total debt from month to month
- You have creditors that are pressuring you for payments, threatening to sue or repossess your automobile, personal items, or hire a collection agency to recover the money for them
- You have utility companies that have cut off your service or are threatening to cut off service because you are unable to make your payments
Whether all or some of these apply to you, the best advice we can give is to deal with your debt and financial problems now, before they spiral out of control.
Step 2. Knowing Why
How did I get here?
Consumer debt is one of Canada’s biggest social issues. Sometimes people spend more money than they have. At other times, debt may be due to unforeseen circumstances: a divorce, a job loss, a business collapse, major health issues. However it comes, debt always brings stress, anxiety and worry.
The longer financial problems are left alone, the bigger they become. By seeking out professional help, you will be able to regain financial control.
We will arrange for two counselling sessions during your bankruptcy or consumer proposal. The counselling will help you to discover and understand the cause(s) of your bankruptcy, which sometimes is non-budgetary. These sessions will also provide information to assist you in managing your financial affairs in the future. You must attend both of the counselling sessions in order to obtain your discharge from bankruptcy or a consumer proposal.
Step 3. Knowing How & Who
What are my options?
Talk to your Creditors
Talking with your creditors to explain why you cannot currently make your payments might be the best option. You may be able to negotiate with the creditors to give you an extension, lower your payments over a longer period of time, or even lower your interest rate. Many people are surprised to discover how willing creditors are to negotiate more favorable terms with customers who are willing to work with them.
Taking out a Debt Consolidation Loan
When dealing with debt from many different sources, your best option may be asking a bank or financial institution about combining or “consolidating” your debts into one payment. This can bring you the necessary breathing room to start getting ahead. If approved for the debt consolidation loan, the bank or financial institution agrees to pay off all your debts. In return, you make one monthly payment to the lender. When dealing with debts this way, make sure to do your research, because interest rates and loan repayment terms are different with each financial institution. If you are offered a consolidation loan, it is very important to stop using credit after. Continuing to use credit once your bills are consolidated will only add to your problem, digging yourself further into debt.
Take Credit Counseling
Many people find professional help to be a great benefit to getting their finances in order. If you have difficulties making a personal budget and sticking to it, counseling may help you.
You can make a consumer proposal to your creditors to help alleviate your debt load. Meet with one of our professional advisors at FreshStartBC who will work with you to determine what you can reasonably afford to pay each month. Once the Licensed Insolvency Trustee and yourself have determined an affordable payment, you can then offer that repayment option to your creditors.
Bankruptcy is the last possible option. If all other options listed above cannot solve your debt problems, you may need to consider personal bankruptcy. Filing for bankruptcy should be a last alternative if you cannot file a reasonable consumer proposal.
Step 4. Getting Started
What is the first step to take?
Contact us and set up your FREE consultation. Declaring bankruptcy or filing a consumer proposal is a choice made by thousands of honest hard working people every year. This consultation will give us the opportunity to evaluate your circumstances and provide you a clear picture of what to do next. Regardless of your specific financial problems, you owe it to yourself to contact us in order to get a FreshStart and rebuild your future. Doug Lee & Associates Inc. has helped many people overcome their debt problems, and we can help you as well!
Book your FREE confidential, no obligation consultation today.