Concerns about credit reports and credit scores are very common worries that people mention. Despite the fact that their debts are causing stress, some individuals are more focused on what the credit bureau thinks of them than what they are facing (often on a daily basis) if they are over-extended. If you’re considering filing a Consumer Proposal or Personal Bankruptcy but can’t quite get past the reference it will leave on your credit report, read on for some food for thought:
My credit rating is great, I don’t want to ruin it. So, you have a great – maybe even ‘ideal’ credit score… let’s delve a little deeper now though! Is your credit impeccable because you’re managing to pay down the principle or because there are enough debts that you can move payments around, effectively keeping things paid up to date? If those regular payments are just servicing the interest, and the length of time you’ll be paying the debt off isn’t going down it may be time to look into some debt options.
Another area to consider about a good credit score: If you approached a reputable lender to consolidate the debts, would they agree? Quite often despite good-standing credit, lenders are still able to calculate that a person is essentially maxxed out – effectively meaning that holding the good credit isn’t actually doing you any favours.
I don’t want to make my credit score worse. Perhaps you’ve had a few hiccups with your credit report, an inadvertently missed payment or an NSF charge for example so your credit has already experienced a dip; maybe some accounts have had more than a few payments missed and are now at collections – either way there is likely already some stress. Stretching your daily budget to its limit is not an ideal solution, one small unexpected item can (and usually will) derail all good payment intentions, leaving you back at square one.
Any time accounts are not paid in full it is reflected negatively on your credit report; negative information about accounts is actually held on record for 6 years! If you have accounts already in a delinquency status your credit is already being negatively affected. Oftentimes in this case a consumer proposal or bankruptcy does better serve the credit report as it will provide a fresh start date.
Bankruptcy will destroy my ability to ever get credit again. Probably the number one myth around bankruptcy or consumer proposals is that either will mean never being able to obtain credit again – it’s flat-out fiction! A first-time bankruptcy will show on a person’s credit report for 6 years from the date they are discharged (which if it’s a 9-month bankruptcy makes a total credit impact time of less than 7 years). A consumer proposal has a less severe impact on credit ratings and is purged the earlier of 6 years from the date of signing, or 3 years from the date the proposal is paid off.
During the time that the bankruptcy or consumer proposal is reflected on a credit history it does not mean that you are not allowed to obtain credit, however, most individuals will want to take steps to build their credit back up again to be eligible for more desirable interest rates and lenders. Improving your credit is not nearly as difficult as you may think – for steps on rebuilding click here to watch a short video outlining the basics.
Stress, constant shuffling of payments and seemingly endless payment terms aren’t anyone’s ideal. While we understand the desire for a great credit rating, it’s important to bear in mind that the best opinion of your financial health and credit viability should come straight from YOU. Sometimes starting from scratch is the best way forward.