What are the Most Popular Debt Solutions in Canada?

Evaluating Debt Solutions in Canada

A Comprehensive Guide to Choose the Right Debt Management Strategy

In the quest to free oneself from the shackles of debt, Canadians have multiple options at their disposal. These debt solutions in Canada range from traditional monthly payments to more specialized methods tailored to individual financial circumstances. This article aims to guide you through the maze of debt solutions, helping you identify the one best suited to your situation.

Understanding Debt Solutions

Navigating Through the Landscape of Debt Management Strategies

There exist five primary debt solutions in Canada that can be leveraged to achieve financial freedom. Each of these solutions carries its unique features, benefits, and caveats, making it crucial to understand them well before making a decision. A knowledgeable credit counsellor can provide invaluable guidance in this selection process.

Debt Consolidation

Debt consolidation functions by merging multiple debts into a single monthly payment with the lowest possible interest rate. This strategy provides three key advantages:

  1. Simplifies your bill payment schedule, eliminating the hassle of managing multiple bills.
  2. Minimizes interest charges, allowing you to focus on repaying the principal debt.
  3. Lowers interest can expedite your debt clearance, even with reduced monthly payments.

Typically, debt consolidation is achieved through an unsecured personal loan. Based on your credit score, you qualify for a loan that is used to repay your credit cards and other debts, leaving you with a single low-interest loan to pay off. Other options include an unsecured line of credit (LOC) or a balance transfer credit card.

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Debt Management Plan

A Debt Management Plan (DMP) shares several benefits with debt consolidation. However, unlike debt consolidation, a DMP does not involve any new financing. Instead, a non-profit credit counselling organization assists you in establishing a repayment plan tailored to your budget and negotiates with your creditors to reduce or eliminate interest charges.

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Debt Settlement

In a debt settlement arrangement, a private debt settlement company negotiates with your creditors to accept a reduced amount of the owed debt. Although it may appear lucrative, it can negatively impact your credit score, lead to lawsuits, and result in wage garnishment. Hence, it’s not commonly recommended.

Know more about the risks of debt settlement »

Consumer Proposal

A consumer proposal is a legally sanctioned method to settle your debt for less than the total amount. It requires the services of a Licensed Insolvency Trustee (LIT) who reviews your finances and helps you devise a repayment plan. However, there are some downsides to this solution that you need to be aware of.

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Bankruptcy is the last resort for debt resolution. It involves the sale of your assets to repay your creditors, and the remaining debts are discharged. However, bankruptcy has severe implications on your credit score and becomes a permanent part of your public record.

Learn in-depth about bankruptcy »

Debt Solutions in Canada: A Comparative Analysis

Debt Repaid Credit Score Needed to Qualify Cost Time Required to Get out of Debt Credit Score Impact Public Record
Debt Consolidation: Paid in Full Debt Consolidation: Good (660+) Debt Consolidation: Setup fees + interest charges Debt Consolidation: 12 – 60 months Debt Consolidation: Positive Debt Consolidation: No
**Debt management plan: **Paid in full Debt management plan: n/a Debt management plan: Monthly administration fee set based on your budget + interest charges in some cases Debt management plan: 36-60 months Debt management plan: Negative; 2 years Debt management plan: No
Debt settlement: Partial repayment Debt settlement: n/a Debt settlement: Percentage of the original debt owed; may be charged upfront Debt settlement: 12 – 36 months Debt settlement: Negative; 6 years Debt settlement: No
**Consumer Proposal: **Partial repayment Consumer proposal: n/a Consumer proposal: $1,500 filing fee + 20% of your future payments Consumer proposal: Up to 60 months Consumer proposal: Negative; 3 years Consumer proposal: Yes
Bankruptcy: Partial repayment Bankruptcy: n/a Bankruptcy: Base contribution cost of $1,800 for first-time filing + surplus income costs in some cases Bankruptcy: 9 months for first-time filing or 21 months for surplus income costs Bankruptcy: Negative; 6 years Bankruptcy: Yes

Choosing the Optimal Debt Solution

Since every financial situation is unique, it’s crucial to select the debt solution that caters to your specific needs. This choice depends on various factors:

  • The total amount owed.
  • Other financial commitments.
  • Your credit score.
  • Your budget.

For Canadians with a stable financial position, debt consolidation proves to be the most beneficial solution. However, if you have bad credit or a large debt that disqualifies you from new credit, a Debt Management Plan (DMP) could be the next best alternative. A Licensed Insolvency Trustee (LIT) can help determine if a consumer proposal or bankruptcy is a better choice in your case.

Specialized Debt Solutions for Homeowners

Homeowners can leverage unique debt solutions by borrowing against their home’s equity. However, this approach should be exercised with caution, as it increases the risk of foreclosure. Some of the options available to homeowners include:

  • Home equity line of credit (HELOC).
  • Second mortgage or a home equity loan.
  • Reverse mortgage (only available to homeowners above 55).
  • Mortgage refinancing.

The Canadian government provides a detailed guide on borrowing against home equity that homeowners should consult before proceeding.

Debt Clearance and Credit Score Impact

One common concern when selecting a debt solution is its impact on credit scores. Only debt consolidation allows you to avoid any credit damage. However, it’s crucial to recognize that any solution involving external help or adjusted debt repayment schedules will have some negative impact on your credit.

Effective Tips for Debt Clearance

Regardless of the debt solution you choose, a few general tips can help you smoothly navigate the journey to financial freedom. These include balancing your budget to prevent reliance on credit, aiming to pay off your debt within five years, and understanding the root cause of your debt.

Debt solutions in Canada are designed to help individuals navigate their financial struggles and regain control over their finances. By understanding the different options available and seeking professional guidance, one can make an informed decision that best suits their needs.

Find Your Personal Debt Relief Solution

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

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