Credit Counselling in Toronto – Facing Debt Together
The importance of Credit Counselling is recognized in the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act – where both Bankruptcies and Proposals require debtors to complete two Credit Counselling sessions before being discharged from their debts.
By providing our Greater Toronto Area clients with Credit Counselling, we give them the tools that they will need to make a financial success of their ‘fresh start’.
Colleen Greer is a Certified Insolvency Counsellor and a Certified Insolvency Administrator, with extensive counselling experience and skills. She has helped hundreds of clients develop the ability to deal successfully with their finances.
Recently, Colleen spoke about a series of counselling sessions she had with a young Toronto couple. The couple was in their early 20s and they had both filed Consumer Proposals as a result of of excessive credit card debt.
At the 1st counseling session (approximately 2 months into the Proposals), Colleen met with the couple, where they discussed their spending habits and how they were dealing without credit cards.
The couple was struggling. They were trying to catch up on missed payments to other bills and trying to manage their money, without credit to fall back on.
Colleen reviewed how to set up a budget and suggested that they closely track their income and expenses to see exactly where they were spending their money. She gave them the task of accounting for every penny of their monthly income and expenses.
To help keep costs down, the couple indicated that they were going to get involved with activities that did not require money – going for walks, entertaining at home, etc.
At the 2nd counseling session (approximately 7 months into the proposal) they were, according to Colleen, a different couple.
- They had managed to catch up on their bills and start a savings account.
- The husband had found a part time job to bring in extra money.
- They had made the joint decision to cut some services (such as call forwarding, satellite TV, etc), which had reduced their monthly expenses.
- As a result of their improved financial situation, they were now planning to pay off their Proposals in a two-year period, instead of five.
For Colleen, the most promising thing about this couple, was that they did not want to obtain any credit. They were extremely happy dealing on a cash-only basis.
They had discovered the joy of having money in their bank account at the end of the month.
As a bonus, their relationship was flourishing as a result of working together.