Debt Help & Credit Counselling in St Catharines, Ontario

Comprehensive Guide to Debt Help & Credit Counselling in St Catharines, ON

Living in St. Catharines, often referred to as “The Garden City,” can be a delightful experience. However, dealing with financial burdens might sometimes overshadow the beauty of this city. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed by your financial situation, this guide to Debt Help & Credit Counselling in St Catharines is here to help.

Understanding the Debt Situation in St. Catharines, Ontario

St. Catharines, the largest city in Southern Ontario’s beautiful Niagara region, faces its own share of debt problems. The city, unfortunately, currently holds the highest unemployment rate (8.8%) in all of Canada. This financial stress can lead to overwhelming debt, making it crucial to understand available debt relief options.

Debt Statistics in Ontario

As of the end of Q1 2019, residents of Ontario had an average debt level of just under $24,032. This figure represents a 4.5% increase from the same period in 2018 but is down from the peaks earlier in the decade. These debt levels are comparable with other major provinces around the country. However, they are well under the highest debt-laden province, which is Alberta.

In 2021, 125 St. Catharines residents reached out to debt.ca to tackle their debt problems. They were struggling with an average debt load of $22,868 and sought help to get their finances, and their life, back on track.

Available Debt Relief Options in St. Catharines

Debt relief options available in St. Catharines, Ontario include credit counselling, debt consolidation, consumer proposals, and bankruptcy. Let’s explore each of these options in detail.

Credit Counselling in St. Catharines

Credit counselling is a great way to manage your debt. It involves working with a credit counsellor to develop a personalized plan to pay off your debts. The goal is to reduce and eventually eliminate your debt over time.

Credit counselling can help you:

  1. Understand your financial situation.
  2. Develop a budget.
  3. Learn money management skills.
  4. Explore options to pay off your debt.

Debt Management Plans (DMPs)

A debt management plan is an agreement between you and your creditors to pay all of your debts. You make regular payments to a licensed debt management company, which then distributes these payments to your creditors. Debt management plans can help you manage your debts and get back on track.

However, it’s important to note that you still owe the original creditors when you enrol in a DMP. On the other hand, with a debt consolidation loan, you only owe one entity.

Debt Consolidation in St. Catharines

Debt consolidation is an excellent option if you are dealing with multiple debts. It involves taking out a new loan to pay off your existing debts, leaving you with a single monthly payment. This simplifies the debt repayment process and can potentially lower your interest rate.

However, qualifying for a debt consolidation loan depends on your current credit score. Therefore, it’s crucial to ensure you have a good credit history before considering this option.

Consumer Proposals in St. Catharines

A consumer proposal is a legal procedure administered by a Licensed Insolvency Trustee (LIT). It allows you to pay back less than what you owe to your creditors.

The benefits of a consumer proposal include:

  1. Writing off up to 80% of your debts.
  2. Stopping collection calls.
  3. Stopping a wage garnishment.
  4. Unfreezing your bank account.
  5. It’s legally binding on all unsecured creditors.
  6. Deals with CRA and payday loan companies.
  7. You keep your assets including your tax refund.

However, a consumer proposal should be considered a last resort due to the impact on your credit score.

Bankruptcy in St. Catharines

Declaring bankruptcy can help you get out of debt. However, it should be considered a last resort. Bankruptcy involves surrendering everything you own to a licensed insolvency trustee in exchange for the elimination of your debts.

Bankruptcy can provide a fresh start, but it comes at a high cost, including a significant impact on your credit score.

Expert Help for Debt Relief in St. Catharines

The process of managing and eliminating debt can be complex and overwhelming. Therefore, it’s recommended to seek help from professionals who specialize in debt relief and credit counselling.

Professionals such as Licensed Insolvency Trustees (LITs) and credit counsellors can provide valuable advice and guidance. They can help you understand your financial situation, explore your options, and develop a plan to get out of debt.

Conclusion

Overcoming debt is not an easy journey, but it’s certainly possible with the right help and resources. If you’re facing financial difficulties, don’t hesitate to seek Debt Help & Credit Counselling in St Catharines to help you regain control over your finances. Remember, you are not alone, and there are professionals ready to guide you every step of the way.

Find Your Personal Debt Relief Solution

Licensed Insolvency Trustees are here to help. Get a free assessment of your options.

Discuss options to get out of debt with a trained & licensed debt relief professional.