Having a lot of debt and finding it difficult to repay is something that many people can feel ashamed of.
You can feel embarrassed and guilty that you’re unable to repay your debts and even that you have the debt in the first place.
In fact, some people even hide their debt from their spouses, other family members, and friends, even when they need help.
14% of Canadians say that they have hidden credit card debt from their spouse, with women more likely to do this, and more than half of men saying they would be more embarrassed to admit their credit card debt than their salary or weight.
There is a lot of stigma surrounding having large amounts of debt and even more around being unable to pay your debts.
People find it uncomfortable to talk about their debts, even when they really need help.
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This can often lead to people ignoring their debts and hoping that they might just go away, even though they know that this isn’t very likely.
You don’t have to put up with sleepless nights, creditors and collectors calling at all hours and other problems because of your overwhelming debt.
You might feel that people are going to judge you because of your debt.
But, no matter why you have ended up in debt, there are plenty of resources to help you and non-judgemental, impartial services to offer you advice.
When you’re struggling with your debts, the most important thing to do is ask for help.
You can find a number of different places to get the help and support that you need so that you can pay off your debts, reduce them or perhaps have them discharged through a bankruptcy or consumer proposal.
Taking the First Step Towards Debt Help
If you are reading this article, you have likely already started looking for solutions to your problems with debt.
The most important step is deciding that you want to do something about it and looking for the right solutions.
You can get your finances back under control, with a range of solutions available to suit your circumstances.
There are some things that you might try to do on your own.
You can create a budget to see if it will help you get a better overview of your spending.
You might be able to find some ways to save money or control your spending so that you are able to put more money toward paying your debt.
If you need help to manage your debts, you can access a number of different services to help you.
Credit counsellors can take a look at your finances and offer a range of solutions that might help you to deal with your debts.
They can get you set up with a debt management plan, or they can suggest other solutions that could be right for you.
Many credit counselling services are non-profit and can offer you impartial advice for getting your finances back on track.
These debt relief options can be the right choice for you, but they can also come with their fair share of stigma.
You might feel like filing bankruptcy is a sign of failure or blame yourself for getting to the point where bankruptcy might be necessary.
However, bankruptcy or a consumer proposal could be the solution that you need to start over.
It gives you the option to hit refresh on your finances, and eventually start to get back into a better place with money management.
A Licensed Insolvency Trustee (LIT) can help you to decide if either of these options might be right for you.
In fact, you need a trustee to carry out either one of these processes, as they are both legal processes that require an LIT to file them.
Seeing a trustee doesn’t have to be a last resort, especially as a trustee is able to take a look at your finances and educate you about other debt solutions.
If bankruptcy or a consumer proposal isn’t right for you, your trustee can let you know and suggest other ways you might be able to tackle your debt.
A Licensed Insolvency Trustee is non-judgemental and will offer impartial advice based on your financial situation.
Trustees are regulated by the Government, as are bankruptcy fees.
Most trustees are university-educated and have CPA qualifications, and must complete a course in bankruptcy law, as well as keep their education up to date.
They are officers of the court and don’t work for the debtor or creditors.
They are also the only debt professionals that can prevent action from being taken against you.
Bankruptcy offers you the option of getting rid of your debts through a legal process that could be finished in as little as nine months.
If you are unable to repay your debts, bankruptcy allows you to eliminate them.
Of course, it’s not a magic wand that waves away your debts without consequences.
Filing for bankruptcy also means that you must surrender some of your assets, with rules on what you are allowed to keep.
You will need to make payments each month, and the bankruptcy will remain on your credit report for around six years.
A consumer proposal offers an alternative to bankruptcy.
You can erase your debts and keep your assets while making payments that you can afford.
With a consumer proposal, you will consolidate your debts into one payment, and you could reduce interest rates too.
A consumer proposal may last for up to five years, although many people pay off what they owe in just a few years.
Like bankruptcy, a consumer proposal is handled by a trustee who acts as the administrator.
Don’t let the stigma of debt prevent you from getting the help that you need.
Find a trustee today who can help you make the right decision.
Information on Consumer Proposals
Consumer Proposals in Canada – An Alternative to Bankruptcy
What is a Consumer Proposal?
How to Amend a Consumer Proposal
What are the Benefits of a Consumer Proposal?
What are the Steps in a Proposal?
Consumer Proposal Eligibility
What Debts Are Erased in a Consumer Proposal?
Is There Life After a Proposal?
How to File for Bankruptcy
What is Bankruptcy?
How Does Bankruptcy Work?
What is the Cost of Bankruptcy in Canada?
How to Rebuild Credit Following Bankruptcy
Personal Bankruptcy in Canada
What Debts are Erased in Bankruptcy?