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Do you live in Montreal? Are you looking for help dealing with excessive consumer debt or need advice on how to get back on track with your finances? Speaking with a credit counsellor could be the solution you’ve been looking for.
How a Credit Counsellor Can Help You
These professionals may work alone or as part of a larger agency, but their goal is the same; help struggling Canadian borrowers resolve their financial issues.
How can a credit counselling agency help you? Find out here.
However, before you choose a counsellor, always be sure to take a few precautionary measures, such as:
- Take time to research their name and/or agency properly
- Read all reviews and/or complaints about them to confirm their reputability
- Ask them if they are a non-profit or if they charge a fee for their services
- Look them up in the Better Business Bureau
- Make certain that they are certified and hold a valid license to operate in Quebec
How They Can Help
A good credit counsellor can provide you with a whole range of courses and guidance, including but not limited to:
- Courses that teach you how to control your debts, credit, and money better
- Help to negotiate with creditors and debt collectors
- Teach you how to implement healthy financial habits and avoid bad ones
- Referrals to and administration of debt relief programs, such as:
- Debt settlements
- Debt consolidation loans and programs
- Consumer proposals
Setting Your Expectations
Before we go any further, it’s important to know that credit counselling in Montreal is not a cure-all solution to your financial problems. Credit counsellors cannot erase your debt, nor can they guarantee that you won’t fall into unhealthy financial habits further down the line. In the end, you need to put in the work if you want to resolve your money problems.
That said, what you can expect from credit counselling in Montreal is:
- You’ll get to talk to a professional and ask them all the questions you want
- Together, you can reevaluate your finances, free of judgement
- You’ll gain knowledge about how to deal with your current and future money problems
- If you listen and learn, you and your lender can strategize and come up with an appropriate solution to almost any financially related problem you have
How Credit Counselling Can Alter Your Credit
As you will learn during your counselling sessions, your credit is a crucial part of your financial health, especially when you frequently use credit products (credit cards, lines of credit, loans, etc.). For example, it’s essential to build and maintain good credit when you want a car loan, to ensure that you get the most favorable rates and terms.
Want to know the difference between a credit card and line of credit? Find out here.
One great thing about credit counselling in Montreal is that it doesn’t affect your credit, at least not in the traditional sense. No course you take or advice you receive will have a direct impact because none of the information will be sent to Canada’s credit bureaus (Equifax and TransUnion). However, any debt relief products and services that you apply for through your credit counsellor can affect your credit report and credit score. Here’s how:
The Effect on Your Credit Report
Your credit report is a detailed profile containing all your actions as a credit user over a certain number of years (dependant on the bureau). This means that every credit-related product you use, even debt relief services, get listed there. So, if your counsellor were to administer a debt consolidation program, that would show up on your credit report.
Will a debt consolidation loan look bad on your credit report? Read this to know.
The Effect on Your Credit Score
Your credit score and your credit report work like a wave. What affects one will affect the other. In this case, if you were to be in the middle of that same debt consolidation program, it would alter your credit report, which in turn would change your credit score. If you’re behaving responsibly during the program, making all payments on time and in full, the positive information in your report will send your score up little by little. Contrarily, if you begin defaulting on your payments, the opposite will occur.
These are the types of debt you can consolidate with a debt management program.
The Overall Effect
Your credit health is essential when you apply for credit products because many lenders will check your credit score and credit report to calculate your creditworthiness prior to approving or denying your application. If the lender sees a high score and fine looking report, you’ll have good approval odds and reasonable rates, and vice versa.
So, if your credit counselling service ever leads to you apply for any credit or debt related service, make sure you’re well aware of this effect, and act accordingly.
Knowing When Credit Counselling is Necessary
Truthfully, credit counselling in Montreal can be good for anyone looking to learn about or improve their finances. You don’t have to be in bad financial health in order to benefit from or be eligible for the services a credit counsellor can provide.
However, there’s definitely a point when credit counselling in Montreal is necessary, for example:
- When your financial health as a whole is beginning to decline
- If your bills, debt, and late payments are overwhelming
- If traditional debt management methods aren’t helping
- If you’re considering a consumer proposal or a bankruptcy
Want more information about credit and debt counselling? Click here.
Trying to Avoid More Financial Problems?
If you’re looking to recover from a past financial mistake and are thinking about seeking the help of a professional, Loans Canada can help match you with the right product and best debt or credit professional.