Financial Counselling is Available

In a world where financial complexities continue to grow, many individuals find themselves in need of a guide, a mentor, or, in this case, a Financial Counsellor. Such a professional can provide the much-needed guidance to navigate the labyrinth of financial uncertainties. If you are seeking assistance with managing your monthly budget, dealing with insolvency, or simply seeking financial clarity, know that Financial Counselling is Available to you.

What is Financial Counselling?

Let’s break down the term to understand it better. Financial Counselling, equivocally referred to as credit counselling, is a service that aids individuals in managing their financial affairs. Consider your financial counsellor as a money coach who can help you identify and rectify the financial missteps you might not even be aware you are making.

The role of a financial counsellor is akin to that of any other coach you’ve had in life, be it a sports coach, dance instructor, or even a personal mentor. Just as these coaches help you improve and succeed in their respective fields, a financial counsellor helps you better your financial health.

The Need for Financial Counselling

If you are contemplating whether to seek the services of a financial counsellor, consider the following scenarios:

 

  • You are struggling to meet your monthly financial obligations.
  • You are considering filing for bankruptcy or a Consumer Proposal.
  • You are looking to improve your money management skills.
  • You need a thorough understanding of your spending and shopping habits.
  • You want to learn the warning signs of financial difficulties.
  • You are considering obtaining and using credit in the future.

 

If you identify with any of these scenarios, it might be time to schedule your first financial counselling session.

The Insolvency Process and Financial Counselling

If you are considering filing for bankruptcy or a Consumer Proposal, it’s crucial to understand that financial counselling forms an integral part of the insolvency process. Two mandatory financial counselling sessions must be completed at a Licensed Insolvency Trustee’s (LIT) authorized office registered with the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy (OSB).

These sessions are conducted by Insolvency Counsellors who adhere to high standards of ethics and professionalism, ensuring integrity, competence, honesty, and due care in all areas of credit counselling. They are also required to complete annual professional development training courses to stay updated in all areas of credit counselling.

The First Financial Counselling Session

The first financial counselling session typically takes place between 10 and 60 days after you start working with a financial counsellor. The aim of this session is to review your current financial situation and provide advice in several areas, including:

 

  • Money management.
  • Spending and shopping habits.
  • Warning signs of financial difficulties.
  • Obtaining and using credit in the future.

 

The first session offers an opportunity to discuss any concerns related to the insolvency process, such as the completion of income and expense summary reports, additional information or documents required by the LIT, or issues with creditors attempting to collect debts.

The Second Financial Counselling Session

The second financial counselling session occurs not before the end of a 30-day period after the first session and no later than 210 days after you start your insolvency filing. This session focuses on identifying the potential roadblocks to solvency and rehabilitation. The counsellor will guide you in the following areas:

 

  • Understanding your strengths and weaknesses with regards to money management and budgeting skills.
  • Identifying non-budgetary causes that may have contributed to your financial situation.
  • Providing resource material that may help you achieve and maintain economic stability.
  • Developing recommendations and alternatives for a financial plan by discussing future goals.
  • If required, providing referrals for specialized counselling to deal with the non-budgetary causes of insolvency.

 

Reviewing and Improving Your Credit Score

During the second session, there is also an emphasis on improving your credit score. The counsellor will explain how a bankruptcy or proposal filing can affect your credit rating and provide guidance on how to resolve any disputes that may arise concerning your credit report.

It’s important to note that the chartered banks usually have a “cooling off” period, in which they usually will not grant loans for 2 years after your Discharge from Bankruptcy or Certificate of Full Performance.

Building a Credit History

Building a robust credit history is essential for your financial future. Here are some ways you can build a credit history:

 

  • Maintain a steady work record.
  • Open and responsibly manage a chequing account.
  • Open a savings account and make regular deposits.
  • Apply for a small loan using your savings account as collateral.
  • Apply for a secured or unsecured credit card.
  • Ensure prompt bill payments.

 

The Benefits of Financial Counselling

The primary benefit of financial counselling is the valuable guidance it provides throughout your journey towards financial stability. These counselling sessions offer crucial insights into your financial habits, help identify potential roadblocks, and assist in formulating strategies to overcome these challenges.

Conclusion: Financial Counselling is Available

If you are grappling with financial uncertainties, remember that help is just around the corner. Financial Counselling is Available to guide you towards a healthier financial future. Don’t hesitate to reach out and schedule a free consultation to discover your best path forward.

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