How a Consumer Proposal Improved My Life
Money worries can impact every aspect of life, making every day a struggle.
The good news is that there are ways to get out of debt.
This article documents how filing a consumer proposal changed my life.
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A brief introduction: my story
Like many people who experience debt during the early stages of their adult life, my experiences with money worries started at university.
When you break out from the familiarity of home life, and you have access to funds you probably never had before, teamed with a new sense of freedom, it’s easy to take your eye off the ball.
You might not think twice about spending money like it’s going out of fashion because you’re enjoying yourself and your roommates seem to be doing the same.
The trouble is that money often runs out, and not everyone goes to school with the financial backing of their parents or a college fund to see them through.
Overspending can quickly spiral, and it can be difficult to ignore the desire to want to keep up with others and to make the most of student life.
If you start to rely on credit cards and borrowing, as I did, you can soon find yourself in hot water.
As well as worrying about being in debt, I was conscious that I really cared what others thought of me, and I didn’t want to admit that I was struggling to make ends meet or to divulge that my lifestyle was funded by a credit card with a soaring interest rate.
Understanding the scale of the problem
One of the most difficult aspects of facing spiralling debts is understanding the scale of the problem and having the energy and the courage to tackle it.
By the time I sought help years after I graduated, I was in a bad way.
I was constantly worried about money, I was living a life I couldn’t afford and I felt like I was running in a hamster wheel.
At that point, I could barely afford to cover the minimum payments on credit cards due to the interest fees, and I was genuinely worried about losing everything.
I realised that things couldn’t really get much worse, and that’s why I reached out.
I wasn’t familiar with a consumer proposal before I spoke to financial experts, but now, I know that filing a consumer proposal changed my life.
People assume that there is nothing they can do to see a light at the end of the tunnel, and in the vast majority of cases, this simply isn’t true.
I was embarrassed about my financial situation and I knew that I had been living beyond my means for too long, but nobody judged me or made me feel ashamed.
I was able to talk about my circumstances, and advisors were on hand to help me, to guide me, to provide tailored advice and to help me see that I could move forwards.
The benefits of a consumer proposal
A consumer proposal is a legally binding agreement, which is administered by an LIT (Licensed Insolvency Trustee).
The proposal outlines plans to pay creditors a proportion of your debts within an agreed time-frame, which must not exceed 5 years.
When you file a consumer proposal, you agree to make payments to a consumer proposal administrator, and the funds are then passed on to your creditors.
Consumer proposals can benefit those who have debts under $250,000 (this figure does not include mortgage debt).
In many cases, it can be implemented as an alternative to bankruptcy.
When you come to an arrangement and the proposal is accepted, you can either pay a lump-sum up-front or make regular payments, usually over the course of a 3-year period.
According to statistics from the Canadian Financial Capability Survey 2019, over 73% of Canadians either had an outstanding debt or used a payday loan in 2018.
Over 30% said that they had too much debt.
Consumer proposals are becoming more commonplace.
Figures from the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy Canada suggest that the proportion of proposals within consumer insolvencies increased from 53.4% in March 2018 to 57% in March 2019.
It’s natural to have questions and concerns about filing a consumer proposal.
One worry people have is how the proposal will affect their credit rating.
The answer is that there will be an impact, but it’s not as dramatic as filing for bankruptcy.
Your proposal will not inhibit your ability to borrow money for the rest of your life.
It will remain on record for a set period of time, and you can take steps to improve your credit rating in the future.
Could a consumer proposal change your life too?
I can honestly say that filing a consumer proposal changed my life.
Long after I finished university, money was still dominating my life, and I couldn’t see an exit route.
If you’re struggling with debt, you’re paying for everyday expenses with a credit card and you’re worried about how you’re going to climb out of a hole that seems to be getting bigger all the time, there is help available.
You may have never even heard of some of the debt management solutions and techniques that can be used to manage money and negotiate agreements, and this is why reaching out is so important.
Financial experts can help you understand what kinds of options are open to you and most importantly, to see that there is a way to change your life.
This guide documents a client’s story.
If you’re reading this and you feel like it’s telling your tale, why not get in touch?
We can help you look towards a brighter future and lighten the load.
There are ways to tackle debts, to reduce payments and to prevent further stress, and you can rest assured that you are in the safest hands.
If you’d like to talk, or you’re keen to find out more about the services we offer, get in touch now.
Today could be the start of the rest of your life.
Information on Consumer Proposals
Consumer Proposals in Canada – An Alternative to Bankruptcy
What is a Consumer Proposal?
What are the Benefits of a Consumer Proposal?
What are the Steps in a Proposal?
What Debts Are Erased in a Consumer Proposal?
Is There Life After a Proposal?
Consumer Proposal Eligibility
How to Amend a Consumer Proposal