While incomes in Edmonton and the rest of Alberta are among the highest in Canada, so are is the average amount of debt. The province has an average consumer debt of nearly $30,000. While the high incomes in the area allow some consumers to afford to carry this much debt, this isn’t always the case.
Many people need some assistance to get out of their debt troubles. Thankfully, there are several different debt relief solutions in Canada that can help. One of the most popular and helpful is credit counselling.
Do you need credit counselling? Check out this article for more help.
What is Credit Counselling?
Credit counselling is all about helping you improve your financial situation, but it’s also far more than that. Credit counsellors can help you create a budget, changing bad financial habits, deal with your debt, and more. Credit counselling is a great option for anyone dealing with financial issues. Credit counsellors are trained experts. No matter your financial situation, they will work closely with you to help solve your financial problems or confront your financial challenges.
In addition to helping you with your challenges or situation, a credit counsellor can also help refer you to different debt relief solutions. These include:
- Debt consolidation
- Debt settlement
- Consumer proposal
While you may not require one of these solutions, it is good to know they are available for you to use if your situation or needs change throughout the course of your counselling.
Do you know what the true cost of borrowing is? Take a look at this infographic to learn.
Choosing the Right Credit Counsellor in Edmonton
Credit counselling can be a wonderful solution for a multitude of different financial issues and problems. However, whether you are in Edmonton or any other city, there are likely numerous credit counsellors or agencies in your city. How are you supposed to choose the right one?
Firstly, you want to ensure that the credit counsellor you work is licensed and/or certified to work in your area. If they are not, you should steer clear. Next, you want to ensure that they are reputable and experienced. A simple Google search should provide you with information about a company’s reputation in the space. This search should also bring up any potential complaints about the company, which could be valuable to check out.
What should you expect from your first credit counselling session? Find out here.
You will be divulging a lot of personal information to your credit counsellor, so you definitely want to be as comfortable with them as possible. If you are uncomfortable being real and honest around them, they likely are not the counsellor for you. Your credit counsellor will likely need to know things like:
- How much money you make
- How much money you have saved
- How much you pay in bills every month
- Your financial habits (whether good or bad)
- Your financial goals
Not everyone is comfortable talking about this sort of thing with just anyone, so be sure to take time to find the right counsellor for you.
Of course, you also need to consider the price of their services. While price isn’t everything, you don’t want to play more than you have to, especially if you are experiencing some troubles financially. While many credit counsellors are for-profit enterprises, you may want to consider working with a non-profit if you can find one. You can be sure that these counsellors will have your best interests in mind as they are not operating to make a profit.
To learn about how a credit counselling agancy can help you, click here.
Will Credit Counselling Affect My Credit Score?
One of the best things about credit counselling as a debt relief solution is the fact that it won’t affect your credit score at all. Most of the time, credit counselling is simply a conversation, so there is no negative affect on your credit score simply by talking with an expert.
However, things can also get a little bit confusing. See, if you enter a debt consolidation program through your credit counsellor, it will show up on your credit report. The amount that your credit is affected will depend on how your creditor reports the repayment of your account.
If it was simply reported as paid off, you’re in the clear and your credit will not be negatively affected. However, if it was reported as settled (as in you didn’t pay back the entire amount) you will likely see a dip in your credit score as a result.
So not only does visiting with a credit counsellor hardly ever negatively affect your credit score, but it can actually improve it. Your credit counsellor will likely be able to help improve your financial habits to a point where the things you do (use credit responsibly and make payments on time) actually increase your score.
Interested in learning more about what affects your credit score? Check out this infographic.
Looking For Credit Improvement Help?
Loans Canada offers a wide variety of debt and credit products that can help you improve your credit and take back control of your finances. Submit an application today and get matched with the right product for your needs.