Turning to a professional for debt relief is a wise decision. But there are many different debt relief plans or programs advertised and choosing the right debt consultant can be confusing.
When choosing a debt advisor you should consider several key characteristics: accreditation, training and education, reliability, reputation and cost.
First and foremost, your debt advisor should have some form of professional accreditation. A trustee in bankruptcy is one of the most qualified debt experts you can talk to. Licensed by the federal government, a trustee is mandated by the Superintendent of Bankruptcy to give a debtor advice and information about all your debt relief options, including consumer proposals and bankruptcy and they must make sure that BOTH the debtor’s and the creditor’s rights are respected.
If you choose to talk to a credit counsellor, both the credit counselling agency AND your individual credit counsellor should be accredited. Ask about their qualifications, experience and who they are accredited with.
Training And Education
Your debt advisor should have the training and experience needed to advise you of all of your options when dealing with your financial situation. Trustees are the most highly trained and educated debt consultants in Canada. Most hold both an accounting designation and university degree. In addition, all must pass a rigorous bankruptcy and law course and before being granted a trustee license. Ongoing professional development is mandatory. All trustees must abide by a stringent code of ethics which requires that they present you with all of your debt relief options.
If you are seeking the help of a credit counselling agency, ask if their individual credit counsellors are certified by an independent organization and how much experience they have.
Reputation and Reliability
A reputable trustee or credit counsellor will present all your options before you sign up and start making payments. Most trustees and reputable credit counselling agencies will provide you with a free, no-obligation initial consultation and you should not feel pressured to make a decision right away.
Investigate your potential debt advisors reputation. Check out their website. Does it offer information or just encourage you to sign up for their program or process? Can you ask them questions on-line with no obligation?
Cost Vs Benefit
First, you should not have to pay for a referral to a trustee in bankruptcy or a not-for-profit credit counsellor. Most trustees and reputable credit counselling agencies will provide you with a free initial consultation.
Make sure you understand what services are being offered and how your advisor will be paid. When filing with a trustee in bankruptcy you do not start making any payments until your proceeding has been filed with the federal government. If you are negotiating a debt management plan with a credit counsellor, ask if they will be negotiating a debt management plan up front with your creditors or if you will be asked to start putting money aside to negotiate a debt settlement with your creditors in the future. A reputable debt advisor, whether a trustee or credit counsellor will only get paid if they are able to provide you with a service.
All of the advisors listed on MoneyProblems.ca are experts in debt management. They are licensed Bankruptcy Trustees, Qualified Insolvency Counsellors or accredited Credit Counselling Agencies. Get started with a free, no-obligation debt evaluation from one of our qualified debt advisors today.