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Canadian Credit Counseling, Information and Services

Credit Counseling in Canada puts Canadian consumers back on their financial feet

Free credit counseling for Canadian consumers exists in every province and territory in Canada. These non-profit organizations and government agencies have just one aim in mind, helping you get back on your financial feet. But for many consumers, taking that first step towards credit counseling can be a scary one. To get over that fear, ask yourself these questions:

- Are you living paycheque to paycheque? 

- Do you worry about debt collectors? 

- Does creating a household budget seem impossible? 

- Is saving for retirement simply a pipedream? 

- Are contributions to your RRSP a big fat zero each year?

If your answer is yes to these questions, it’s time to move past denial and consider credit counseling.

The non-profit organizations and governmental agencies often work free to make you ‘debt-free.’ Others charge a nominal percentage to help you pay down your unsecured debts and get educational materials. If you live in one of Canada’s bigger cities, there even be workshops held locally for you to attend. For a listing of credit counseling agencies in your province or territory, click here.

Canadian credit counseling gives consumers a second financial chance in Canada

There are several financial areas to review before you begin consumer credit counseling. First of all, get current credit reports for you and your spouse so that you know exactly how Canadian banks, credit unions, credit card companies and trust companies in Canada view your credit history. People are often surprised, pleasantly and negatively, when they see their personal credit report for the first time. At least you know the whole picture (and can correct any errors that might have arisen with past accounts).

Secondly, financial difficulties usually arise from too much debt or an inability to repay debts. A good credit counselor may be able to work out a debt repayment plan for you with your creditors. This type of plan forces you to deposit money each month with the credit counseling agency, which in turns pays the creditors according to the payment schedule and budget you have agreed to with a credit counselor. This type of repayment plan can take 36-48 months to complete, provided you do not add any debts during this time. 

Thirdly, interview several consumer credit counseling agencies (if you have some choices available). Check with local authorities and the Better Business Bureau to find out if other Canadian consumers have filed any complaints about the agencies you are considering. Any reputable consumer credit counseling agency should provide free information about its services without requiring personal and private financial details first. If not, go elsewhere for help.

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