Most of us experience financial problems at one point or another. When money problems are serious or prolonged, however, they might start to spin out of our control. But how do you know when it’s time to get help? And where can you turn if you’re having financial difficulty? In Manitoba, there are several good options that can help you through financial problems.
When is it time to get help?
Many people are hesitant to ask for help when it comes to finances. If you wait too long to get help, however, your options become limited. It can also have a greater effect on your credit score. The following are some warning signs that it’s time to seek professional help for your financial difficulty:
You recently lost your job or experienced a cut in pay
Your monthly expenses are more than what you make in a month
You have accounts in collections and can’t afford to bring them current
Your home is in danger of foreclosure or is in foreclosure
Your credit cards are at their limit
You try and open new cards to pay your bills
You’ve turned to payday or title loans to cover your expenses
One or more of these signs could spell financial trouble. Getting help soon can help you avoid more serious problems, like wage garnishment or bankruptcy.
Where to get help
So where can you go for help with your financial problems? Here are some of the best options:
- Try negotiating. You’d be surprised at how many of your creditors might be agreeable to negotiating interest rates or payment terms. Ultimately, creditors simply want to get paid what they’re owed.
- Consolidation loans. If you have multiple lines of credit or loans, a consolidation loan can help you save money each month and reduce the number of payments you make. Your loan is used to pay off your debt. Then, instead of making multiple high interest payments, you make just one monthly payment. This is beneficial if you can secure a lower interest rate and if you have a steady income that allows you to make monthly payments.
- Credit counseling. If your financial problems are due to overspending or poor money management, credit counseling could be all the help you need. A credit counselor will help you learn how to use credit wisely. You’ll also learn how to make and stick to a budget and prioritize your spending.
- Consumer proposal. If you’re in debt but can’t afford to pay down your balances with interest, you may want to consider a consumer proposal. This is a legal agreement with your creditors, facilitated by a licensed insolvency trustee, that allows you to settle your debts for less than you owe. Instead of paying multiple creditors, you make one payment to your trustee until the settled balance is paid off.
- Licensed insolvency trustee. You don’t have to wait until you file for bankruptcy to see a licensed insolvency trustee. Trustees are licensed financial experts who do more than just handle bankruptcies. A trustee will meet with you and go over your financial situation, then make recommendations on the best course of action for your situation. This may not be bankruptcy. Trustees also handle consumer proposals and provide credit counseling.
Even if you don’t know where to turn, there are options for you if you’re experiencing financial difficulty. In Manitoba, these are just a few ways you can find the help you’re seeking.