We are usually asked about:

IS CREDIT COUNSELLING RIGHT FOR ME?

When you contact us, our professional counsellors will go through a debt analysis with you and will help to identify all possible solutions to your debt problem. We’ll work with you to develop a realistic budget and can often suggest ways to increase your financial stability and savings. Sometimes that’s all you need to get your finances in order. We will not “sell you” into a Debt Management Program if it’s not appropriate for your situation.

HOW MUCH DOES YOUR SERVICE COST?

Our initial financial evaluation of your current situation is always provided free of charge. Debt Management Program (DMP) administration fees are based on a sliding scale, the complexity of your case and the number of creditors you have. All fees will be disclosed to you once we have completed your financial evaluation and you have decided that our program is right for you. In most cases, our fees will be offset by interest rate concessions we negotiate with your creditors. When you successfully complete your program you will see that our service has actually saved you money.

WILL MY CREDITORS KNOW I HAVE CONTACTED YOU?

If a creditor calls us to verify that you have contacted us it is because you have told them to call us, or because the creditor has referred you to us. We will then verify the date you contacted us and the status of your application.

WHAT IF A DEBT COLLECTOR CALLS WHAT SHOULD I DO?

Tell the collector that you are a client of Canadian Credit Counsellors Society and refer them to our office. If they refuse to call us to confirm that you are client, let us know who they are and we will contact them. It’s important not to ignore any letters or calls from your creditors and to keep us informed of any concern you might have as soon as possible.

CAN YOU STOP LEGAL ACTION AND PHONE CALLS?

In the majority of cases we are able to work with most creditors towards a solution that will satisfy everyone, and hopefully stop any legal action. The phone calls from collectors will eventually cease and as long as clients maintain their payment arrangements, you should not hear from them again.

WILL YOU STOP INTEREST FROM BEING CHARGED ON MY ACCOUNTS?

The majority of creditors want to work with you and do stop or reduce interest while you are on a Debt Management Program. However, there may be a few creditors that do not.

DO WE HAVE TO CONTINUE TO WORK WITH OUR CREDITORS?

No. If they call let them know you are using our services and give them the information they request. It is important that you do not make any additional payments or arrangements that conflict with your Debt Management Program. Call us if there is a request for additional payments outside of your program.

HOW LONG IS A DEBT REPAYMENT PROGRAM?

A debt repayment program is typically 2 – 5 years depending on your circumstances. The counsellor will determine your time frame during your initial evaluation.

WHAT TYPE OF DEBTS CAN I INCLUDE?

Pretty much all forms of unsecured debt can be included. That means credit cards, lines of credit, overdrafts, bank loans, student loans, medical bills, fitness clubs, collection agencies, and Payroll loan companies. A secured creditor, which is a creditor who has collateral on a loan such as an vehicle, boat or home, as well as co-signed loans by someone who is not on your repayment program, are usually excluded from the repayment plans. But, we can include them and negotiate reduced payments if the value of the collateral is less than the outstanding balance owing.

DOES CANADIAN CREDIT COUNSELLORS MAKE THE PAYMENTS TO MY CREDITORS?

Yes. Clients using our Debt Management Program are expected to make a regular monthly payment to us for an amount which you have agreed to with your counsellor and which your creditors have accepted. We then send those payments to all our clients’ accounts once each month on your behalf, usually around the 25th of each month. An important fact to remember is if a client does not pay us, we cannot pay their creditors.

WHAT IF I DO NOT HAVE ALL OF MY CREDITOR INFORMATION?

For us to provide you with an accurate payment plan, it is important that all of the creditor information you provide to us is up to date. The payment we establish for you is based on the information given by you and any discrepancies can create problems. If you do not have all of your creditor account information, we can still begin but you will need to provide the remaining information as soon as possible in order to submit Repayment Proposals in a timely fashion.

WHEN WILL I RECEIVE CONCESSIONS FROM MY CREDITORS?

Before your creditors extend special concessions like dismissed or lower interest rates and waived late fees, you must first be consistent with your payments. Many creditors will start granting concessions upon acceptance of your proposal, but some creditors will wait until they have received up to three consecutive payments before offering full benefits.

DO I HAVE TO INCLUDE ALL OF MY DEBTS WHEN ENROLLING IN THE DEBT MANAGEMENT PROGRAM?

Some creditors will strongly suggest while others make it a requirement that all accounts be placed into the Debt Management Program. Most creditors are very willing to extend concessions when they know a client is sincerely trying to get out of debt. By having all unsecured debt on the program demonstrates a commitment to repaying your debts, and by not disclosing all debt could result in some creditors declining your program.

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