When you’re dealing with a large amount of debt that seems unmanageable, you may not know where to turn. Luckily, no matter how serious you think your situation is, there are options for help. In Winnipeg, debt help comes in many forms.
In some cases, you can actually fix your debt problems yourself. If you have a job and steady income, cutting expenses, living by a budget, and putting away credit cards can help you tackle your debt yourself.
If your debt is more serious, however, you may need professional help. A few signs your debt is out of control include:
- You have accounts in collections
- Your credit cards are maxed out
- You’re living paycheck to paycheck
- You’ve recently lost your job, gotten divorced, or experienced a major injury
- Creditors are calling you asking for money
- You have no savings account
Types of Debt Help
A few ways you can get your debt under control are:
- Debt consolidation. With debt consolidation, you take out a loan and pay all of your debts. Then, you make one monthly payment for the loan. This can save you money on interest and make paying off your debts easier. If your debt problems are the result of overspending, you’ll have to be disciplined not to incur more debt.
- Debt settlement. This is an agreement prepared by a non-profit or for-profit organization that settles some of your debts for less than you owe. While this can be helpful, your creditors aren’t required to participate in the program. Some companies offering this service may not be reputable, so it’s important to research their history and study the fine print before signing any agreements.
- Consumer proposal. A consumer proposal is similar to debt settlement, except it’s prepared by a licensed insolvency trustee. It is also legally binding, so if your creditors accept the proposal, they are required to abide by it. This option allows you to make one monthly payment to your trustee. It also keeps your creditors from contacting you or garnishing your wages. Many people prefer a consumer proposal because it offers an alternative to bankruptcy.
- Bankruptcy. For serious debt problems, a bankruptcy may be the best option. At the end of the bankruptcy, your debts are discharged. However, you will have to surrender a number of your assets to the trustee, who will sell them and use the money to help repay your creditors. While bankruptcy often has a bad reputation, it can actually provide relief from debt stress and offer a fresh financial start.
In Winnipeg, debt help is available regardless of how serious you think your problems are. Researching all of the options available to you before deciding on one will help you.