canadian debt relief

Life Changing Canadian Debt Relief

The pathway through life has many ups and downs and can have numerous potholes to avoid. Often, as we journey, the question comes to mind about how we could possibly change our life. One important way, if you are in debt, is to find life-changing Canadian debt relief.

The self-help section of the bookstore has no shortage of titles about different areas where it is possible to change your life. Typically, the suggestions focus on our physical or mental health, but our financial health is often written about. A common thread pertaining to the self-help trend is to make small incremental changes over time which will eventually lead to a new you. We can’t argue with this approach and would agree that making small changes to the positive will eventually accumulate into something very good financially.

Making Small Changes

There are several ways to make small incremental changes that may help your finances. Here are a few:

  • If you prefer to use cash, save any loonie or toonie that you receive. While the amount is small, the cumulative total can be impressive once enough time elapses. We have seen this change people’s lives.
  • Enroll in your financial institution’s program to save a small amount each time you use your debit card. Again, even though it is a small amount, time is your friend.
    Ride your bike. Not only is this good for your health but operating and maintaining a vehicle can be one of your biggest monthly expenses. Riding your bike can help reduce this expense. In several countries in the world, bike riding is very common. We see more and more people riding and have heard that bike stores are having a difficult time keeping inventory.
  • Pack your lunch. If you spent $20 per day buying lunch for 20 days per month that would be $400. This can be easily reduced by packing your lunch for most days. There is nothing wrong with going out and buying your lunch. Just do it once in a while instead of regularly.
  • Plant a small backyard garden. Not only is this a fun project, but it is also inexpensive and a great way to make a small dent into your food bill. Plus the fresh produce tastes great. If this is not available to you then maybe look to find a community garden that you can invest some time in.
  • Most importantly would be to develop the discipline of keeping track of where you spend your money. If you don’t do this it is unlikely that you will be able to change your financial life or make any inroads into paying off your debt. Even when your income rises, if you aren’t able to control your spending, then you will feel like you are spinning your wheels and not getting ahead.

Ultimately the starting point for finding life-changing debt relief comes down to a decision. You may have heard the saying that any long journey begins with a single step and that is true when you want to change your debt picture as well.

Breaking the Negative Debt Momentum

Carrying debt has a momentum of its own. When you have too much debt in your life the interest that is charged on it will work against your efforts in paying it down. We have seen some tragic situations over the years when this negative debt momentum was having a huge impact on people’s lives. Sometimes that negative debt momentum is impossible to break even if you are following some of the recommendations above.

The next step is to make the decision to find out what your other options are that can break the negative momentum quickly so that your life can change to the positive. We can think of three.

Three options to break negative debt momentum:

  1. Visit your bank and apply for a debt consolidation loan. If approved, you will have only one payment to make and it will likely be at a lower interest rate. We recommend that you carefully monitor the proposed interest rate. A debt consolidation loan may not be helpful if the interest rate is too high. However, if the interest rate is acceptable, and the monthly payment is not too high, this could be the life-changing debt relief that could help you. The key with this option is to follow through with the expense tracking and budgeting in the future to avoid running future deficits.
  2. File a Consumer Proposal with the assistance of a Licensed Insolvency Trustee (LIT). This will immediately change the momentum of negative interest rates and prevent your unsecured creditors from collecting from you. A Consumer Proposal must be filed through a LIT and is currently the most popular way in Canada to obtain debt relief. We have seen Consumer Proposals provide people with life-changing debt relief. As a Government of Canada approved and regulated process, it is a safe and effective way to get your financial momentum turned around. The key with this option is to have a payment amount that will fit your monthly cash flow and still let you live normally. As an independent office, we can take as much time as you need to help you calculate this payment.
  3. File an assignment into bankruptcy. This is the last option to consider but it can be the most practical depending on your circumstances. For instance, if your income is modest, it is typically less money out of your pocket and finished sooner than you would be in a Consumer Proposal.

Make a Choice

Overall, the key to finding life-changing debt relief is to make that decision to do so. The result could be a small incremental change over time. However, if the interest charged on your debt is too high, you may need a more powerful tool to change that momentum. At this point, making the decision to contact a Licensed Insolvency Trustee is the right thing to do. Most LIT offices across Canada, including ours, offer a free, confidential assessment where you can ask questions and find out how these life-changing debt relief options could help you.

Go ahead and contact us. You will be glad you did.

Derek L. Chase, CPA, CA, LIT

Being able to offer debt help assistance to individuals and corporations on a more intimate basis was a driving force in completing a “second CPA” by becoming licensed by the Federal Government as a Licensed Insolvency Trustee (previously Trustee in Bankruptcy) in 1997. It is extremely satisfying to be able to witness lives change for the positive due to a restructuring of financial affairs.