📅 Last Updated: October 4, 2021
✏️ Written By Lisa Rennie
🕵️ Fact-Checked by Caitlin Wood

It’s pretty tough to avoid having debt, especially in places like Toronto where the cost of living can be quite high. Student loans, car loans, and mortgages are all examples of common types of debt that Toronto consumers tend to carry. Even if you have never taken out a loan, chances are you at least some credit card debt.

While some amount of debt is fine and even healthy for your credit score, too much of it can be overwhelming and damaging to your credit. If you find yourself struggling to pay your bills every month, then perhaps debt consolidation might work for you.

Click here to discover more information about loans in Toronto.

What is Debt Consolidation?

Essentially, debt consolidation is when you take out a loan to pay off all the other loans that you might have. Ideally, the new loan will come with a lower interest rate than some of the debt you currently carry, which can help you save some money.

Debt consolidation also helps to remove the need to manage several loans and instead leaves you with only one loan to take care of. This type of arrangement is better suited for consumers with lots of debt, but still, an amount that isn’t considered too excessive.

Why Do Toronto Consumers Get Into Debt?

As mentioned earlier, it’s difficult to go through life without having some form of debt, especially in cities like Toronto which has a high cost of living. Certain expenditures in Toronto are just too expensive to pay off in full upfront, and loans can help us acquire certain big-ticket items – like cars and houses – without having to come up with a lump sum of cash to cover the cost.

Can you afford that big purchase? Find out here.

But many consumers in Toronto slide down that slippery slope in terms of debt and get themselves in over their heads by spending more than they can comfortably handle. Over time, debt can slowly pile up, leaving consumers in a financial predicament that becomes too much for them to deal with.

There are plenty of reasons why people in Toronto get into too much debt, including the following:

  • Spending too much money
  • Maxing out credit cards
  • Being late on bill payments
  • Missing bill payments
  • Getting laid off
  • Getting a pay cut
  • Suffering a medical situation
  • Dealing with surprise expenses, such as car repairs, medical emergencies, home repairs, etc.

All sorts of situations can put consumers in Toronto in a lot of debt, and failure to effectively manage your finances can pile the debt on so high that you’ll have a tough time climbing out of it without some outside help.

Need some debt management tips? Try reading this.

Is There Such a Thing as ‘Good Debt’?

Yes, good debt really does exist. Although being debt-free is something that many consumers in Toronto strive for, not every type of debt is necessarily considered ‘bad’, as long as it’s well managed and isn’t so much that the payments cannot be made.

But bad debt occurs when so much debt is incurred that it is nearly impossible to make debt payments in full every month. It may not even be possible to make some payments at all, and skipping payments can easily lead to a situation that is nearly impossible to get out of.

Look here if you’re falling behind on your credit card payments.

Good Debt vs. Bad Debt

Before taking out a loan or credit in Toronto, it’s critical to assess whether or not the debt would be a good or bad idea. Good debt is usually debt that is used to pay for something that will be put to good use or that will appreciate in value over time, such as a house. On the other hand, bad debt is debt that is used to pay for something that’s not useful, has little value, and comes with sky-high interest.

Having said that, good debt can inevitably turn into bad debt if too much debt is taken out. For example, a mortgage is considered good debt because you’re buying something of value that should appreciate over time. But if you buy a home in Toronto that’s way out of your budget, you could be maxing out your finances and putting yourself in a situation that you may find difficult.

Before taking out any debt in Toronto, consider whether or not the purchase that you’re making is worthwhile. If it is, ask yourself if you’ve got the finances to comfortably cover the associated debt payments. Doing your due diligence can help you avoid a difficult financial situation.

The True Cost of BorrowingDo you know what the true cost of borrowing is? Learn more here.

What’s the Difference Between a Debt Consolidation Loan and a Debt Consolidation Program?

A debt consolidation loan is a loan that is taken out to fully repay all smaller loans that you may have. It usually comes with a lower interest rate compared to some of the rates you’re currently stuck with, making a debt consolidation loan an affordable and cost-saving approach to handling your debt.

If your application for a debt consolidation loan gets denied, be sure to read this.

A debt consolidation program is one in which you work with a counsellor in Toronto who will educate you on how to better manage your finances in order to help you pay down your debt and get it down to a more manageable level. Typically, your counsellor will negotiate a payment plan with your creditors and you’ll make payment through them.

Take a look at the benefits of a debt consolidation program.

Why Consider Debt Consolidation Toronto?

Consumers in Toronto may have a number of different reasons to consider debt consolidation, including the following:

  • Save money on high-interest debts
  • Manage only one debt bill
  • Get help with proper budgeting
  • Become debt-free

What Kind of Debt Can Be Consolidated?

Several types of debt can be consolidated, such as the following:

  • Credit card debt
  • Unsecured personal loan debt
  • Non-government student loan debt
  • Car repossession debt
  • Overdue cell phone and utility bills
  • Medical bill debt

Basically, unsecured debt can be consolidated. However, secured debt usually cannot. In addition, debt loads that are too excessive may not be eligible for debt consolidation. In this case, another debt relief program may be required.

For an explanation of secured and unsecured debt, click this link.

Can Debt Consolidation Negatively Affect Your Credit Score?

Your credit score is an important part of your overall financial health, so it’s important that you consider it whenever you make a financial move. But can debt consolidation negatively impact your score, despite the fact that you’re trying to improve your financial situation?

The answer to that question depends on the situation. How you use your debt consolidation will affect how your credit score is impacted. For example, if you use debt consolidation to pay off your high-interest credit card bills, you can effectively reduce your credit utilization ratio, which is a positive thing for your credit score. But if you take out a loan and fail to make payments on time, your credit score will suffer.

Will a debt consolidation look bad on your credit report? Click here.

Need Help Managing Your Debt?

A debt consolidation program or loan in Toronto can be an effective way to help reduce your debt load and make it more manageable. If you’ve determined that debt consolidation is right for you, let the experts at Loans Canada help you find the right debt consolidation product that’s suitable for your situation so you can finally get a handle on your debt.

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