Credit counselling is unregulated Anyone can claim to be a counsellor and charge you fees

About Credit "counselling" Services

Is Credit "counselling" Right for You?

Credit Counselling services make their money by charging you fees and commissions either directly or hidden. They are not free.

THERE ARE FRAUDULENT CREDIT COUNSELLORS    BEWARE

 

There are fraudulent credit counsellors who charge high fees, provide little or no service and warn against discussing your money problems with other services, including bankruptcy trustees.

 

A credit counsellor has no greater ability to negotiate with your creditors than you do.

 

The credit counselling industry is unregulated and anyone can claim to be a credit counsellor.

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IS THERE AN ALTERNATIVE

TO CREDIT "COUNSELLING"?

 

You might consider a credit "counselling" program now which will stop creditors from harassing you.

 

You can then investigate a formal consumer proposal or bankruptcy.

 

Consumer Proposals permit you to make a proposal to your creditors to pay off your debts.

 

Consider that a formal consumer proposal or bankruptcy may well permit you to recover a good credit rating much faster than credit "counselling". Negative credit items remain on your credit report for to seven years. This would include the records of your credit "counselling" and a list of your "bad debts."

 

Bankruptcy will "cancel" your debts with strict provisions. It also remains on your record for up to seven years, but you may well be able to re-establish credit after a couple years.

 

Know that the banks and credit card companies fund most credit "counselling" agencies. This makes economic sense since it helps save the banks the high costs of collections.

There have been frauds where consumers gave the credit counselling service their payments and the payments were never sent on to the debtor. See More . . .

CAVEAT EMPTOR

 

So called "Credit Counselling" is really a combination of debt consolidation and a formal consumer proposal

 

You benefit from the instant relief from collection calls, and possibly lower interest and lower payments.

 

There is no "counselling" and the people who offer the service are just sales reps who make their living by fees and commissions earned by collecting your monthly debt payments and passing them on to your creditors.

 

Any one can experience debt problems. The important thing to remember is that you have options.

WHAT CREDIT "COUNSELLING"

SERVICES OFFER.

Credit "counselling" companies claim they provide "counselling" for people in debt and helps devise repayment plans for consumers with financial difficulties.

They say they

  • offer guidance on money management,
  • help arrange repayment schedules affordable to the debtor and acceptable to the creditor,
  • assist in developing personalized budgets and advise on bankruptcy procedures.
  • Arrangement with creditors, through a debt management program
  • Budget planning
  • Alternatives to bankruptcy
  • Credit rehabilitation

YOU HAVE THESE FIVE OPTIONS TO SOLVING YOUR DEBT PROBLEMS

HERE IS WHAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT'S

OFFICE OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS (OCA)

SAYS ABOUT CREDIT COUNSELLORS

'Before You Decide to Meet with A Counsellor

Be aware that there are people who appear to be offering their help but they may end up taking advantage of your vulnerability. Always double check before signing anything and be sure to ask questions, notably with respect to fees:

 

Is the first consultation free?

What about the costs for any other subsequent consultations?

And, if a debt consolidation or debt management plan/program is proposed to you, always double-check before signing anything.

 

What will be the total costs (they may be built into your overall monthly payment)?

What is the length of the program that you are committing to, and what are the terms and conditions (for example, if you want to opt out)?

Note: Be wary also of any counsellor that pressures you to sign up for such plans/programs, without first taking the time to fully evaluate your situation and discuss options.

 

Be sure that you understand all the implications of the plan/program (for example, what are your roles and responsibilities, if and how the creditors will be informed, what are the impacts on your credit report, can you use credit cards, are you protected from certain legal actions, what is the payment schedule, etc).'