Tag Archives: Consumer Proposals

Ask the Trustee – January Edition

Licensed Insolvency Trustee Blair Mantin answers your questions about how to manage debts, including options such as Credit Counselling, Consumer Proposals and Bankruptcy in BC! 

Q:  What is a Consumer Proposal and how does it work?

A:  A Consumer Proposal is a legal debt settlement that can only be filed by a Licensed Insolvency Trustee.  Generally, a Consumer Proposal will substantially reduce the amounts you have to repay (in full settlement of the debts), extend the time you have to pay the debt or a combination of both – all future interest is automatically halted and there are no additional fees to pay.

For many individuals, a Consumer Proposal requires that they repay between 20-40% of the total debt outstanding, with no further interest or fees.

The first step to find out if a Consumer Proposal is a good choice for you is to contact a Licensed Insolvency Trustee to set up a free and confidential consultation.

To find out more about your debt options, call us at 1-800-661-3030 or contact us here to arrange for a free, confidential consultation.

 

Blair Mantin on CTV News at Noon: “Budget Best Practices to Start 2017 Off Right!”

Sands & Associates Vice-President and Licensed Insolvency Trustee Blair Mantin appeared on CTV Vancouver’s ‘News at Noon’ segment last week.

Blair shared some key categories for budgeting, and income allocation percentages to aim for.  Watch here:

For more information about Consumer Proposals and other debt restructuring options, please contact us to book a free, confidential consultation in one of our 15 BC offices.

CTV News at Noon: “Budget Best Practices to Start 2017 Off Right!”

Licensed Insolvency Trustee and Vice-President of Sands & Associates Blair Mantin was a guest on CTV Vancouver’s ‘News at Noon’ today.  With a fresh year and new resolutions, January is the perfect time to start, or improve upon a household budget.  Blair shared some general guidelines as to the structure a successful budget should take, with these key budget areas and percentages of after-tax income allocations:

budgetbestpractices-chart-blogHousing – 35%

35% is the upper limit of what most experts would recommend in a monthly budget for housing costs (mortgage or rent and all utilities).

Living in Vancouver, it can be difficult to meet even this target of 35%, with many people spending more on rent or a mortgage than they would have to if they lived elsewhere:

  • Options such as hosting homestay students, or considering a roommate can help to reduce this cost
  • If you consider moving, be careful that additional transportation costs do not offset any savings in housing costs

Transportation – 15%

This is another area where overspending is common.  Most of us greatly underestimate how much it costs us to get from point A to point B.

  •  If you’re able to use transit, you’re ahead of the game as it’s near impossible to spend more on public transit than you would spend if you owned a car – BCAA estimates that the average compact car costs around $9,500 per year!
  • Consider all of the costs of owning a car: Gas, insurance, maintenance and repairs, depreciation, etc
  • Is 2017 the year to embrace car sharing?  Options abound in Vancouver for short trips, long trips and everything in between.  Consider Car2go, or Modo Car Co-op as good, cost effective options

Food and Other Living Expenses – 30%

Food costs can vary widely depending on your diet, shopping habits, affinity for couponing, and size of your household.

  • A good estimate is about $250-300 per household member for groceries each month
  • While you can’t do much about the increased cost of ‘staple’ items, this category also includes some budget killers like eating out, lattes, taxi rides, nights out, etc
  • The key is to track this category accurately – consider whether an app could be helpful, or even try ‘giving yourself an allowance’ by putting money in a separate account for food and other living expenses each month

Savings – 10%

Saving money is usually the first thing that goes to the wayside when money is tight.  It is also hands-down the number one factor that will determine whether you will achieve financial success – Can you save money each month?

  • You must pay yourself first, by setting up automatic withdrawals into an account.  Otherwise, there will never be enough money left for savings
  • RRSPs are the only funds that are safe no matter what, so, even if you aren’t debt-free, you should still be making contributions to your future:
    • Previously most workers had company pension plans and didn’t have to worry about this
    • Now, more than 11 million Canadians are without company pension plans.  You are your own pension plan
    • Many companies also offer matching of contributions – always say yes to free money!

Debt Repayment – 10%

Over 90% of Canadians say they have more debt today than five years ago.   According to a recent study by CIBC, top priority for 2017 is to pay down debt.

  • Many people fall into an ongoing trap of ‘financial Tetris’ where they are using one card to pay another.  Though they might feel great about taking action on their debts, they may not be getting any further ahead if they are just shuffling money around between cards or lines of credit
  • Consider how much money 10% of your income is.  If your required debt payments are much higher than that amount, you should investigate whether professional debt help is beneficial

With over 26 years of experience, Sands & Associates is BC’s largest firm of Licensed Insolvency Trustees focused exclusively on assisting individuals and small businesses achieve their “debt free” goals.

To meet with a representative for a free, confidential consultation in one of our 15 BC offices, please contact us.

Sands & Associates voted Number One in Customer Service for Fifth straight Year

Sands & Associates is proud to announce that we have been selected as the Consumer Choice Award winner for the fifth consecutive year, in the category of Bankruptcy Trustees in British Columbia’s lower mainland.

Consumer Choice Award was established in 1987 and remains the only organization in Canada to conduct statistically accurate independent market research surveys to determine brand reputation, customer satisfaction and business excellence.  Consumer Choice Award’s sole purpose is to recognize business excellence for small and medium sized businesses.

We would like to take this opportunity to extend our sincere thanks and appreciation to our staff and the BC communities we are proud to serve, as this award would not be possible without your continued support.

With over 26 years of experience, Sands & Associates is BC’s largest firm of Licensed Insolvency Trustees focused exclusively on assisting individuals and small businesses achieve their debt free goals.

To meet with a representative for a free, confidential consultation in one of our 15 BC offices, please contact us.

Blair Mantin on CTV News at Noon: “Holiday Tips to Keep you in the Black”

Sands & Associates Vice-President and Licensed Insolvency Trustee Blair Mantin appeared on CTV Vancouver’s ‘News at Noon’ segment last week.

Blair shared some of his key tips for the holidays, to help viewers to avoid a January spending hangover.  Watch here:

For more information about Consumer Proposals and other debt options, please contact us to book a free, confidential consultation in one of our 15 BC offices.

CTV News at Noon: “Holiday Tips to Keep you in the Black”

Vice-President of Sands & Associates and Licensed Insolvency Trustee Blair Mantin was a guest on CTV Vancouver’s ‘News at Noon’ today.  The holidays are often a time when the best laid financial plans can take a big hit!  If you embark on the holiday season without a clear plan for shopping (and paying off the purchases) you could find that your holiday cheer turns to post-holiday blues once the January credit card bills arrive.

Blair shared some key tips to avoid the holiday spending hangover, while still allowing yourself an enjoyable festive season:

  1. Give gifts with an added benefit
    • For an individual in your life who may be hard to buy for, consider options for giving that will have benefits far beyond your local community.  Many charities have started offering ‘Gifts of Magic’ whereby you select a gift on behalf of an individual, and the gift is provided to help children or individual in need around the world.
    • For kids, rather than just another toy, why not give a gift like this that will stimulate a discussion and learning about others less fortunate.
    • The added benefit for the gift giver, is that these gifts are charitable donations and you will receive a tax refund for the purchase!  So, essentially the government is helping offset the cost of your Christmas shopping and helping you make the world a better place!
  1. Have a Plan “B” for some gifts
    • If you’re at the point now where the budget has already been spent, and the only option would be to borrow to give a gift, take this opportunity to try to do something different.
    • Some of the most meaningful gifts actually cost nothing at all – one example would be to take the time to sit down and hand write an old-fashioned letter to a friend or family member.  In our fast-paced society, your letter will stand out and show that you’ve taken the time, and the thought, to do something meaningful.  And your wallet will thank you too!
  1. Keep track of your spending and follow up to get the best deals after the fact
    • While it’s important to have a written budget for your holiday spending, you may actually get more value from your budget AFTER the gift has been purchased.  Keep in mind that many, if not all, of the large retailers now offer price match guarantees that extend past Boxing Day (usually 30 days from purchase).  Keep a log of all of the purchases you made (make, model number, retailer, and price paid) and be sure to do a check on December 26th to see if prices have dropped.  It can be as easy as printing off an ad from a competitor and returning to the store to get a refund of the price difference.  Over the course of a few presents, this can add up to real savings!
  1. Make 2017 your year of debt freedom – start planning now so that you can move forward in January
    • Do yourself a favour and take a few minutes over the holidays to assess your financial situation
    • If you’re debt free – great!  Congratulate yourself for managing well in an ever-more-costly world
    • If you are carrying debt, learn about Consumer Proposals.  A Consumer Proposal is a solution growing by leaps and bounds in BC and will allow you to settle your debts for less than you owe without declaring bankruptcy
    • There’s a lot of misinformation concerning debt options so be sure you get advice from a reliable source – any Licensed Insolvency Trustee in Canada will meet with you for free to help you become debt free in 2017

With over 26 years of experience, Sands & Associates is BC’s largest firm of Licensed Insolvency Trustees focused exclusively on assisting individuals and small businesses achieve their “debt free” goals.

To meet with a representative for a free, confidential consultation in one of our 15 BC offices, please contact us.

Tips to Avoid a Financial Bah, Humbug!

Our latest holiday infographic, with seasonal spending stats and tips to keep your finances festive – well into the new year!

Sands & Associates - Holiday Infographic 2016

Click the infographic to enlarge.

To meet with a representative for a free, confidential consultation in one of our 15 BC offices, please contact us.

Sands & Associates Live – Your Questions Answered!

Vice-President of Sands & Associates and Licensed Insolvency Trustee Blair Mantin was recently broadcasting live to answer viewers’ questions and explain some of the general ins and outs about how Licensed Insolvency Trustees can help people achieve a financial fresh start.

If you missed this informative Q&A session, you can catch up here:

Questions covered in this live session:
[0:25 – 2:55] I have $45,000 of debt… is bankruptcy the only option?

[2:55 – 3:45] How much can a $45,000 debt get reduced to?

[3:45 – 4:50] How long does a Consumer Proposal last?

[4:50 – 6:15] What’s the difference between credit counselling and a Consumer Proposal?

[6:15 – 7:30] Does bankruptcy or a Consumer Proposal impact mortgages or car loans?

[7:30 – 9:20] How does a Consumer Proposal affect credit ratings?

[9:20 – 10:25] How much does a Consumer Proposal cost?

[10:25 – 11:30] What will happen to RRSPs and savings for a child’s education if a Consumer Proposal is filed?

[11:30 – 12:50] Will filing a Consumer Proposal affect a spouse?

[12:50 – 14:30] What happens if circumstances change and payments can’t be made?

[14:30 – 15:55] Where can more information on Consumer Proposals be found?

To meet with a representative in an office near you, contact us today to book a free, confidential consultation.

Metro in Debt: More from The Vancouver Sun

The Vancouver Sun newspaper continued its “Metro in Debt” series with a closer look at some of the options Canadians pursue when it comes to debt help.  With Canadians owing a record-high amount of combined mortgage and consumer debt, experts say the sooner those carrying debt who are in trouble get help, the better.

Vice-President of Sands & Associates and Licensed Insolvency Trustee Blair Mantin was included in the article, as was a local woman who shared her personal story of using a Consumer Proposal to deal with her debts, including a student loan and payday loans.  “Every single debt problem can be solved,” says Mantin, who notes the importance of knowing all of your options.

To read the full article please click here.

For more information about Consumer Proposals and other debt options, please contact us to book a free, confidential consultation in one of our 15 BC offices.

Blair Mantin on CTV News at Noon: “Top 4 Financial Myths and Misconceptions”

Sands & Associates Vice-President and Licensed Insolvency Trustee Blair Mantin appeared on CTV Vancouver’s ‘News at Noon’ segment last week.

This episode focuses on financial myths and misconceptions that end up costing consumers money.  Blair shares his top 4 myths and misconceptions – watch here:

For more information about Consumer Proposals and other debt options, please contact us to book a free, confidential consultation in one of our 15 BC offices.

CTV News at Noon: Financial Myths and Misconceptions

Vice-President of Sands & Associates and Licensed Insolvency Trustee Blair Mantin was a guest on CTV Vancouver’s ‘News at Noon’ today.  As November is Financial Literacy Month in Canada, this afternoon Blair shared his top 4  financial myths and misconceptions that end up costing consumers money.

Blair’s Top 4 Financial Myths and Misconceptions

  1. Paying just the minimum amounts due each month is A-O.K.
    • Many individuals fall into a trap of just making the minimum payments on their credit cards and assuming that they are actually making progress.  At 20% annual interest (like most cards these days!), making the monthly payments of $250 on a $10,000 debt will take more than 5.5 years to clear and will cost more than $6,600 in additional (avoidable) interest charges.
    • If all you can do is make the minimum monthly payments on your debts each month, this is the surest sign of a debt problem and an indication that you may need to try something different to get out of debt.  Credit card companies are now forced to disclose exactly how long it will take to pay off a debt if you only make the minimum payments, so keep an eye on your statements.
  1. Buying insurance for everything
    • Banks are quick to sell and aggressively promote various insurance products.  Some are great, and necessary, like life insurance for a young family.  Others provide little value in most circumstances.  One of these I see again and again as providing little value is ‘balance protection insurance’.  Each month you pay fees into this product even if you don’t carry a balance.  The fees can be as high as 1% of the purchases on the card.  Over the course of one year, this could take a 20% credit card interest rate to 32%!
    • The real issue is that, in most instances where you’d expect the insurance to help, it actually does very little.  That is, if you lose your job, it may cover the minimum payments for the period of time you are unemployed – but – keep in mind that very little of these payments will actually reduce the balance you owe on the card!
  1. Thinking there’s no way to re-negotiate Government debts
    • It’s scary to owe the Government money that you can’t pay.  If you owe money for taxes, MSP or student loans you may think there’s no alternative but to pay in full no matter how long this may take.  In fact, there is one single way of ‘making a deal’ on Government debts.  Anyone in Canada who has more debt than they are able to pay has the right to file a ‘Consumer Proposal’.  A Consumer Proposal is a legal remedy that can be used to stop all interest, reduce amounts owing, and work out a payment plan for what you can actually afford to pay.  Government debts like taxes, student loans, and MSP premiums can all be dealt with using this powerful tool, which will also halt a wage seizure or bank account freeze (both of which are regularly used collection methods by Government).
  1. Thinking that your credit rating is a barometer of your self-worth
    • Many people are scared to tackle their debt burden because they believe that their credit rating is an indicator of self-worth and that they could never recover from anything that might negatively impact their credit rating (like restructuring their debts, for example).  The fact is, your credit rating can change dramatically in a short amount of time – people can go from bankruptcy to be credit worthy enough for a mortgage in as little as 2-3 years if they follow the right steps.
    • It’s important to understand what a credit rating measures – credit ratings were originally designed as customer profitability measures for banks.  The more products you have open, the more credit you use, the more interest you pay (as long as this is on time!) – the better your credit rating.  Things like actually having savings and making financially smart decisions (like driving an old paid off car rather than financing a new one) have ZERO impact in increasing your credit rating, though you are clearly much better off financially.

With over 26 years of experience, Sands & Associates is BC’s largest firm of Licensed Insolvency Trustees focused exclusively on assisting individuals and small businesses achieve their “debt free” goals.

To meet with a representative for a free, confidential consultation in one of our 15 BC offices, please contact us.

Metro in Debt: Blair Mantin featured in The Province Newspaper

The Province newspaper reported on a recent study conducted by a non-profit group, determining the most indebted areas in Metro Vancouver.  The Social Planning and Research Council of BC study comes amidst repeated warnings over household debts and continued high living costs.

The in-depth article also highlights the experience shared by an individual who used a Consumer Proposal filed by a Licensed Insolvency Trustee to settle her debts.  Sands & Associates Vice-President and Licensed Insolvency Trustee Blair Mantin was featured in the article and expressed that the current trend of a reduction in bankruptcy filings in BC is misleading when it comes the reality many British Columbians are facing:  “Bankruptcy rates are dropping everywhere, but without showing that consumer proposals are growing like crazy, an incorrect picture is drawn,” said Mantin.

To read the full article please click here.

For more information about Consumer Proposals and other debt options, please contact us to book a free, confidential consultation in one of our 15 BC offices.

Ask the Trustee – November Edition

Licensed Insolvency Trustee Blair Mantin answers your questions about how to manage debts, including options such as Credit Counselling, Consumer Proposals and Bankruptcy in BC! 

Q: What type of debts can a Licensed Insolvency Trustee help me resolve?

A: Licensed Insolvency Trustees can help with debts in addition to common consumer debts such as credit cards, lines of credit and loans.  Other debts that we can assist with include:

Student Loans – Student loans can be released via a bankruptcy or consumer proposal if it has been more than 7 years since you were last a student.

Income Taxes – Government income tax, GST or business tax due can be extinguished.  A wage garnishment or bank account seizure can also be halted.

Secured Debts – Debts that use assets as collateral can be resolved, should you wish to end the terms and deal with any shortfall.  Conversely, the terms may continue in a bankruptcy or consumer proposal should you wish to do so.

To find out more about your debt options, call us at 1-800-661-3030 or contact us here to arrange for a free, confidential consultation.

Welcome to the New Sands & Associates Website!

After several months of planning and designing, we’re excited to introduce you to our new website.  We invite you to browse our blog, video gallery, media posts, debt calculators, testimonials sections and more; with a new streamlined format, our informative content is now easier than ever to navigate.

welcome-newwebsite

Sands & Associates is BC’s largest firm of Licensed Insolvency Trustees focused exclusively on personal and small-business services.

Since being founded in 1990, our office network has grown to 15 offices throughout the province, with locations in the lower mainland, Vancouver Island (Victoria, Nanaimo) and the Interior (Kamloops, Kelowna).  Over the past 26 years we’ve helped tens of thousands of people achieve a financial fresh start.

Our team of dedicated professionals are committed to helping people understand their options when it comes to debt management solutions in a straight-forward, empathetic manner.  You can read more about our Licensed Insolvency Trustees and Qualified Estate Managers here.

With help from Sands & Associates, a financial fresh start could be closer than you think.

Ready to talk?  Contact us to book your free, confidential consultation in one of our local offices today.

Ask the Trustee – October Edition

Licensed Insolvency Trustee Blair Mantin answers your questions about how to manage debts, including options such as Credit Counselling, Consumer Proposals and Bankruptcy in BC! 

Q: What information do I need to meet with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee?

A: It’s helpful if you can have an idea as to:

Debts – Who your creditors are, how much is owed; whether or not any creditors hold an asset as security (such as vehicle financing).

Assets – A brief list of any assets you have an interest in.  Note that you are entitled to exemptions on various assets, and most people will keep their assets in a bankruptcy or consumer proposal.

Income – Your average net (after tax) income; also make note of expenses for things like child/spousal support, or out-of-pocket medical expenses if applicable.

Lastly, it’s important to know you do NOT need a referral to meet with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee to talk about your situation and evaluate your financial options. 

To find out more about your debt options, call us at 1-800-661-3030 or contact us here to arrange for a free, confidential consultation.

Blair Mantin on CTV Morning Live – Ask an Expert: “How to Choose a Debt Advisor”

Sands & Associates Vice-President and Licensed Insolvency Trustee Blair Mantin appeared on CTV Morning Live’s “Ask an Expert” segment last week.

This episode focuses on key questions that consumers should consider when seeking a debt advisor.

For more information about Consumer Proposals and other debt options, please contact us to book a free, confidential consultation in one of our 15 BC offices.

CTV Morning Live – Ask an Expert: “How to Choose a Debt Advisor”

Vice-President of Sands & Associates and Licensed Insolvency Trustee Blair Mantin was featured on CTV Morning Live’s segment “Ask an Expert” this morning.  Today’s segment focused on some key questions that consumers should consider when seeking someone to help them with their debts.

Recent statistics and studies have shown that debt is a way of life for many Canadians, and, what’s more, a large number of Canadians are within as little as two hundred dollars of not being able to meet their monthly payment obligations.  As individuals seek out professional debt assistance, there are some pitfalls to be aware of to ensure a debt free future.

Key Questions to Ask when you’re Seeking Help with your Debts:

  1. Is the advisor licensed to help you?
    • When seeking help with your debts, there are a multitude of individuals who claim to be able to help you.  It’s important to note that the Federal Government licenses only a single professional to assist individuals who find themselves in debt – a Licensed Insolvency Trustee.  If you’re dealing with an unlicensed professional you may be at risk of paying unnecessary fees and not having the debt resolved.
  2. What fees will you need to pay?
    • It’s important to understand that you should never pay for debt advice.  Licensed Insolvency Trustees all provide free confidential consultations and all payments are set by government tariff.  If an individual is considering paying an up-front fee to a debt advisor, this is usually a warning sign that they are not dealing with an individual who can actually provide an effective option to deal with all of your creditors.  Many times, unlicensed professionals may charge up-front fees only to eventually introduce you to a Licensed Insolvency Trustee who can offer you several solutions to solve the issue, and whom you could have met initially for free.
  3. What debts can the advisor help with?
    • For most consumer debts, individuals can try to negotiate on their own behalf and sometimes are successful at getting payment plans that work for them.  For government debts, this is often a non-starter.  No advisor can reduce or freeze government debts other than a Licensed Insolvency Trustee.  That’s it, full stop.  Even an individual negotiating directly with Canada Revenue Agency for tax debts or student loans on their own behalf usually doesn’t succeed in reducing the debt.  A Consumer Proposal is generally the only effective method to reduce those government debts in full settlement, with no additional interest or penalties.
  4. Will you receive protection from creditors?
    • If you owe money, you may be getting collection calls, wage seizures, or court actions against you.  It’s important to understand who can make those proceedings stop – only a Licensed Insolvency Trustee can use federal law to immediately stop all actions dead in their tracks and give you the breathing room you need to recover.
  5. Where can you go if something goes wrong?
    • If you’re dealing with an unlicensed advisor, you generally have little to no recourse.  You can try to complain, or even take to social media, but there is no overseeing body that can compel an unlicensed debt advisor to make good on a bad situation.  Licensed Insolvency Trustees are overseen by Industry Canada and are heavily regulated.  If you’re dealing with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee, the regulator makes sure that everything is done in compliance with governing laws.

With over 26 years of experience, Sands & Associates is BC’s largest firm of Licensed Insolvency Trustees focused exclusively on assisting individuals and small businesses achieve their “debt free” goals.

To meet with a representative for a free, confidential consultation in one of our 15 BC offices, please contact us.

Connect with Sands & Associates at the West Coast Women’s Show

According to a recent study, more than one-third of Canadian women wish they were more confident in financial matters, and around the same number of women fear making financial decisions due to a lack of knowledge.

Many women today face unique challenges when it comes to debt and finances.  Sands & Associates believes that women should be encouraged to make smart money choices, to plan ahead and to be empowered with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions about their finances.  With financial literacy and consumer education top of mind, Sands & Associates will be attending the 16th annual West Coast Women’s Show October 21, 22 and 23rd at the Tradex in Abbotsford.

Stop by and meet some of our friendly, knowledgeable staff in Abbotsford for the 16th annual West Coast Women’s Show.  With daily shows and hundreds of exhibitors, the West Coast Women’s Show is the biggest women’s event in British Columbia.

Please click here for more information about the West Coast Women’s Show.

Sands & Associates has been helping individuals and small businesses when they need a plan to deal with their debts for over 25 years. With 15 offices throughout British Columbia and a team of qualified credit counsellors, Licensed Insolvency Trustees and proposal administrators – we are here to help people achieve a debt-free future!

To find out more about Sands & Associates or arrange a free, confidential evaluation of your debt options in one of our local offices please contact us.

2016 Halloween Infographic – Get More Scare and Less Spend

Click the infographic to enlarge.

Click the infographic to enlarge.

To meet with a representative for a free, confidential consultation in one of our 15 BC offices, please contact us.

How (and Why) to Check Your Credit Report

Even though it’s generally recommended to check your credit report about once a year, this is a financial chore that often falls by the wayside, even for the most financially-savvy of us.  Because an un-kempt credit history can be hiding a lot of hassle for those unsuspecting, we’ve put together a brief primer on getting your credit report to help you stay on top of this important metric:

How to check your credit report:

There are two relatively straightforward ways you can request copies of your credit history reports from both (that’s right – BOTH) credit bureaus in Canada.  Because these are separate agencies they won’t necessarily have the same information, which is why it’s important to review both.

  1. Online: If you visit the websites for Equifax and TransUnion of Canada you’ll find links to receive a copy of your credit history report online.  While this is a quick way to get the job done, it will come with a fee determined by the agency.  If you opt for this route, be sure you’re only paying for what you want – different “packages” are available that will contain varying information and reporting.  For financial housekeeping purposes, you’re generally only interested in the credit history report itself, not your credit score!
  2. By mail: If you’re not in a rush, and/or you want to save yourself the fees you can use the “Credit History Request Form” to request hard copies of your reports, a copy of which can be found in the downloads section of our website.  You can obtain copies for free once a year!  You’ll need to fill out the form in entirety, attach copies of two pieces of identification and either mail or fax the request form to both credit bureaus.

Why you should check your credit reports:

Correct Errors:  Sources estimate that there are errors in anywhere from 10 to 33% of credit history files.  Unfortunately, some of those errors may be impactful enough to stop you from obtaining credit, or getting credit on the terms you want, others such as an incorrect date of birth may add unnecessary delays when you’re seeking credit.

Tip:  If corrections to your file are required, there will be a request form sent to you with your credit report which you will complete then return to the appropriate bureau.  Try to include as much documentation with the correction request as possible.

Detect Fraud:  Identity theft and fraud are a modern-day nuisance that thousands of Canadians deal with annually.  If you’ve had your wallet stolen, or had a home break-in, it’s of added important that you monitor your credit history for accounts that may not belong to you.

Tip:  If you’ve been a victim of fraud you should contact the police, the affected lenders, and the credit bureaus immediately to get further assistance.

Avoid Surprises:  It’s easy to have a few bills slip from memory over the years.  Avoid being reminded about that old cellphone account or unpaid parking ticket when you go to apply for credit.  Likewise for credit cards or lines of credit that you haven’t used in years – these items can be taking up needless room in your credit report.

For assistance in eliminating debts that may be weighing down your credit report, contact a Licensed Insolvency Trustee.  We can help you achieve a financial fresh start!

With over 25 years of experience, Sands & Associates is BC’s largest firm of Licensed Insolvency Trustees focused exclusively on assisting individuals and small businesses achieve their “debt free” goals.

To meet with a representative for a free, confidential consultation in one of our 15 BC offices, please contact us.