Monday, 22 July 2013

Summer Debt Relief: Tips to Reduce Your Debt

Over the summer many families find that debt rises with the temperatures; vacations, weekends away, daily outings, etc. can all leave the wallet feeling very light. If you entered the summer drowning in debt, the worst thing that you can do over the summer is add to that. Instead, use this time to make some financial changes and reduce you debt rather than continuing to build it up. Here are our summer debt relief tips to help you regain control of your finances.

Debt relief tip #1: Go over your finances and set a budget. Look at how much you spend every month on bills and see where you can save. And be realistic. Don’t deny yourself every luxury – you won’t be able to stick to it. For example, if you eat out 5 nights a week, don’t cut this out altogether, you are bound to cave in at some point. Instead try and limit these treats to once a week, or even once every 2 weeks.

Debt relief tip #2: Avoid making only minimum monthly payments. Most of your monthly payment is just interest, very little of the principle balance being paid off as a result. Check out your monthly statement – most will give you a timeline showing when your balance will be paid off if only monthly payments are made – this might shock you – and hopefully motivate you to reduce your debt!

Debt relief tip #3: Contact your creditors and see if they can offer a lower interest rate, especially if you have received offers from other companies offering an interest free period and free transfer (just be sure that you can pay off the balance before the interest free period is up). This option though is often only good for those with good credit – if your credit is less than stellar or if you routinely miss payments, there isn’t much motivation for your creditors to reward you with a lower interest rate.

Debt relief tip #4: Seek the help of a professional. Once you get deep into debt, it can seem impossible to climb back out. But it is possible. If you have tried to reduce your debt but just can’t seem to make any progress, it might be time to call in the professionals, ones with experience helping Canadians get debt relief. Debt consolidation, consumer proposals or bankruptcy are all viable options to reduce your debt, and can all end up significantly reducing the amount of debt you currently carry.

Don’t let summer spending get away from you. Instead, try to reduce your debt instead of increasing it with these tips and others. For more tips about debt relief and how to reduce your debt over the summer, please contact DebtCare by calling 1-800-890-0888 or visiting

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

The Globe and Mail Reports on Canadian Consumer Debt

The Globe and Mail recently reported on the status of Canadian consumer debt levels, stating that Canadian household debt continues to grow. With that said, individuals seem to be obtaining less credit and the Bank of Canada reports being less concerned about this debt than in years past. 

However, a report from Statistics Canada calculated the average household debt at $164.97 for every $100 of disposable income, slightly higher than the analysis from 3 months previous. And just because the head bank doesn’t seem too concerned, it does not mean that Canadian consumer debt levels are not at a record high – they are.

It has become quite common over the past several years to hear these reports about Canadian consumer debt levels no matter where you go. If you are not in debt often these updates seem irrelevant and are easily pushed aside. However, if you are in debt these updates can often leave you stressed about your own financial situation.

If you find yourself getting shaky or stressed out with each report like this one, it might be time to recognize that you need some help with reducing your debt. Instead of trying to ignore the signs that your debt is becoming unmanageable or hoping that if ignored the problem might go away (it won’t), why not consider working with a professional to get rid of your debt.

How can a professional debt consultant help? After an initial consultation which will involve assessing your debt, your re-payment behaviours, and your monthly income, a debt consultant will be able to discuss with you the various options which exist to help you get out of debt. They can also help you to establish a budget that is realistic while at the same time focusing heavily on repaying the money that you owe to your creditors.

Some options which may exist include debt consolidation, consumer proposal or making settlements with your creditors. All three of these solutions come with their own benefits and it pays to consult with a professional to best determine which option is the right one for you. Some might even offer the ability to settle what you owe with creditors at a much lower amount – saving you money.

If you find yourself constantly trying to avoid the reports on rising Canadian consumer debt levels, change your perspective and start looking at it as a motivator to get your own debt under control.

For more information about how you can reduce your debt, please contact the professionals at DebtCare Canada by calling 1-800-890-0888, or visit us online at

Monday, 8 July 2013

Collection Agency Harassment: How to Stop the Calls

Canadians have become so accustomed to carrying debt, and for some being in debt has become the norm. It is true that the vast majority of Canadians do have debt and when debt accumulates to the point where you are defaulting on monthly payments, the debt you have can be the source of considerable stress. This is especially true if your creditor has sent your debt to a collection company resulting in collection agency harassment!

Collection agency harassment comes in many forms, but the most common is phone calls demanding payment for uncollected funds. These calls can come during the day, in the evening, on the weekends – when you are at home and at work. If you have been receiving these calls, or are nervous that they may begin in the very near future, it is best not to avoid the issue. The calls are not going to stop just because you don’t answer the phone – if anything they will increase in frequency. The collection agency may also pursue other methods to make contact with you that can be the source of embarrassment.

In provinces like Ontario collection agencies are regulated by the appropriate ministry. In Ontario that ministry is the Ministry of Consumer Services (MCS). Reading your province’s legislation that deals with the regulation of collection agencies is your first step towards stopping collection agency harassment. If an agent called you at a time he or she wasn’t supposed to or disclosed information about you or your debt to a third party such as a family member or co-worker, you may file a complaint with the government to stop the collection agency harassment.

Formulate a plan to deal with the debt. It won’t go away by itself and as long as it sits in collections it will accumulate very high interest, can be damaging to your credit and the collection agency will continue to pursue you. Speak with a financial consultant who has experience stopping collection agency harassment for help and also to learn about programs that can help you deal with the root problem - the debt itself.

There are several very effective forms of debt relief in Canada, most common among them are debt settlements, consumer proposals, debt consolidation, mortgage refinancing and bankruptcy. All of these approaches have different benefits. While a consumer proposal can reduce your debt and freeze interest, it can also impact your credit in the short-run. While mortgage refinancing will enable you to rebuild credit faster, you will have to pay closing costs and interest to use your home equity to consolidate your debt. Only a skilled financial consultant can help you to review your options and help you choose the one that will best help you achieve your personal financial goals.

If you are facing collection agency harassment it might be time to get the ball rolling and seek out debt relief from a professional organization experienced in dealing with collection agencies and helping individuals get rid of their debt. Get control of your debt - don’t let your debt control you!

For more information about debt relief to stop collection agency harassment please contact DebtCare Canada today by calling 1-800-890-0888.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Canada Day: Are You Sticking to Your Debt Reduction Strategies?

Happy Canada Day everyone! July 1st marks the half-way point of the year, and it is time to look back at the last six months and see how well you have managed thus far to stick to your New Year’s resolution. If you, like so many other Canadians, made a resolution involving your personal debt reduction but seem to be falling behind, you may not actually like this glance back. But don’t worry, according to a recent survey done by PricewaterhouseCoopers, you are not alone. 

An article on this survey released by CBC News reports that 63% of survey respondents said that their financial goals for 2013 included significant debt reduction. However, less than 25% of those had actually managed to achieve this goal, while 26% said that they had been completely unsuccessful.  Economists continue to report on the status of Canadian debt levels, trying to hammer home the importance of personal debt reduction and adopting debt reduction strategies, but it seems as though Canadians across the nation are having a much harder time actually making these strategies work for them. 

If you are reading this and find yourself in the 26% range, having had no significant victory over your current debt load over the first half of 2013, it might be time to think about an alternative debt reduction plan that will actually work.

A debt reduction company likely isn’t the answer. Debt reduction companies will often have you make a monthly payment to them over an extended period of time with a promise that when enough money is received they will settle your debts. One problem though - what happens if they go out of business? What security do you have that your money is secure? Also, a debt reduction company that offers a service will be motivated to push their product.

A financial consulting company, hired by you to represent you, can present you with all of your financial options. This could include debt reduction through settlements or through a consumer proposal. It could also mean a debt consolidation – your debt reduction solution will largely depend on your personal circumstances. Pay attention to marketing by debt reduction companies. A debt reduction company that says they ‘will’ reduce your debt by 80% for example is different from a financial consulting company who says that they ‘may’ be able to reduce your debt. No company can make a guarantee without knowing your individual circumstances.

What types of strategies exist? Well, as we mentioned, one is a consumer proposal. This is by no means the only approach. However, if you are drowning in debt and are only able to make your minimum monthly payments, or worse, not even these, this solution might be the best choice. Debt consolidation might be another solution to reduce your monthly payments by consolidating debt into a single monthly payment. Whatever your situation, exploring all of your options is the best way to reach a positive outcome.

If you want to actually achieve your New Year’s resolution and take control of your debt, you don’t have to do it alone. A good financial consultant can provide you with the help you need to get control of your finances.

For more information about debt reduction strategies that will actually help you reduce your debt, please contact DebtCare Canada by calling 1-800-890-0888 or visit