Many people with debt are unsure whether their situation warrants professional input, and these uncertainties and delays often cause people to remain in stressful situations that otherwise could be quickly resolved with help from a Licensed Insolvency Trustee.
Read on for insights around when to seek debt help, how to recognize warning signs of a debt problem, and where you can get safe, trustworthy advice and solutions if you live in BC.
Spot Key Warning Signs of a Debt Problem
Whether debt has piled up through a major life event or has steadily gotten worse over time, many of us will face financial trouble at a point in our lives – or even more than once. Sometimes these financial problems are ones we can fix on our own, other times we need outside help to resolve the situation and move forward. Whatever the case or causes, it’s important to recognize warning signs, ideally as early as possible.
Quite simply: If you think you might have a debt problem, you likely do. You may also recognize you have a problem or are heading into escalating financial difficulties if you’re experiencing any of the following:
- You rely on your credit cards as a necessity and not just convenience, or regularly go over your budgeted spending limit and turn to credit
- You continually need to use credit (or borrow from family or friends) to make it to your next payday
- Minimum monthly payments are basically all you can afford to pay on your debts each month
- You make payments on your debt but don’t seem to make progress reducing the principal balance
- You don’t have a budget and/or plan to pay your debts off
- Between your costs of living and debt payments you never seem to have money for savings
- You use payday or other “fast cash” loans
- You’ve almost maxxed out your credit limits
- A service provider has (or has threatened to) cut off your service because your bill has not been paid
- A creditor or collection agency has pressured you for payments, and/or threatened you with court action or seizing your assets or wages
No one expects a crisis like wage garnishment or court action, but situations can escalate quickly, and the pressures of financial strain often get heavier with impacts of problem debt felt not only financially, but physically, mentally, and emotionally.
The ‘financial signs’ that point to a debt problem can look different for everyone, and sometimes we’re just so busy juggling all our daily obligations we don’t even realize we’re struggling. It’s important to stop and be honest with yourself about how you’re feeling about your debt:
- Are you avoiding thinking about your debt and overall finances?
- Are you spending impulsively despite (or because of) financial anxiety?
- Do you feel stressed, anxious, helpless, or hopeless about your financial situation?
- Have you been downplaying or hiding bills and balances from your partner?
- Are strained finances causing arguments or upset in your important relationships?
The best time to confront a debt problem is in the early stages, as the issues often get worse if you don’t take intervening action. Avoid the temptation to wait it out – you owe it to yourself to get debt help.
Get Professional Debt Help and Advice
Licensed Insolvency Trustees are the best resource for individuals, and the only professionals in Canada fully qualified and authorized to help you with your debt. You may be able to address your financial difficulties using the resources we can advise you on, a self-directed approach, or a legal solution.
Anyone can have a free confidential debt consultation to talk about their needs and get a plan to become debt-free – your finances do not need to be in an urgent state to qualify for help. By connecting with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee local to your province, you can safely get accurate advice and guidance.
Sands & Associates serves all of BC and we can review your financial situation together and provide you with information on a full range of options to deal with your debt. Some of the possible debt options we’ll discuss will include (but are not limited to):
- Focused do-it-yourself strategies such as: budgeting, which debts to prioritize, utilizing assets, waiting out BC’s statute of limitations, etc.
- Refinancing solutions
- Repayment plans offered by credit counsellors and other types of debt pooling agents
- Ways to consolidate, restructure and/or reduce debt with a Consumer Proposal
- Bankruptcy, where full debt forgiveness is appropriate
There is no cost for a consultation, and you are under no obligation to continue working with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee – and in about an hour you should have clear understanding about the next steps in whatever solution you choose to pursue.
Why Your Bank May Not Be the Best Option for Debt Help
While there can be some situations resolved by simply re-borrowing, many people who turn to banks and other lenders when they’re struggling with debt discover that:
- Despite having ‘good credit’ and/or a long-standing customer relationship, their bank can’t offer them a solution.
- Reorganizing debt with a bank-based solution only provides a temporary fix, and eventually their debt load needs to be addressed again.
Rather than just trying to use more credit to solve a debt issue, contact a local Licensed Insolvency Trustee first. We help people facing a range of different situations, without restrictive qualifiers like credit scores and income thresholds.
Many people we work with contact us because they recognize that at their current pace, repaying their debt will come with substantial cost due to accumulating interest, and/or the long-term expense of their debt will seriously hinder their ability to move on with their life.
If You’re Struggling with Debt
It’s not uncommon for people to become despondent when overwhelmed by debt, and many are very hard on themselves. If you’re feeling ashamed, frustrated, or hopeless, it’s important that you know:
- A debt problem can happen to anyone at any time and is often triggered by events outside our control that either force people to rely on their credit to get by, or that prevent people from being able to pay off their debt as they intended.
- It’s often the case that people “do all the right things” and still need help.
Show yourself the same kindness and compassion you would give to a loved one who was coming to you for support.
- Whatever challenges you have or continue to face, a financial problem does not define you or your character. You are entitled to live with dignity, and without being overwhelmed by debt.
- There is nothing to be ashamed of in saying: “I need help – I want support to do this a better way” or “I’m taking steps to make space for my wellbeing”.
There are options to help you move forward, and you are not alone – we are here to help you. Our team of Licensed Insolvency Trustees, Insolvency Estate Managers and Counsellors take pride in our commitment to offering debt solutions and support in a judgment-free space.
You owe it to yourself to get debt help – book your free, confidential debt consultation today.