As September approaches, and the days get shorter, it may be time to take stock of what bills may have piled up over the last few months.
Were you one of the thousands of British Columbians who lost their job during this pandemic? Did you need to use credit to get by the last few months? Maybe you continued to work during this time but used credit to have a staycation or do fun things with the kids over the summer. Did you defer any bills during this time? Will the interest rates be going back to normal soon? Can you afford that change?
Common warning signs that you are in financial trouble are:
- Difficulty paying your bills on time and in full
- Always in your overdraft or line of credit, and/or only having a positive balance on pay day
- You have ceased paying your creditors and you are getting collection letters and/or calls
- You lose sleep with the worry about how you are going to pay your debts
- Spending more than you are earning
- Hiding debts or spending from your partner
- Impulsive spending due to financial stress and worry
- Not getting approved for a consolidation loan
- Reaching out to payday loan companies for a short-term fix
- No spending plan, always juggling
The first step is to tally up your debts and make sure to note the minimum monthly payment and interest rate. Make sure to include any income taxes that are owing or any other Government Debt. Then total up on the minimum monthly payments. Realistically, do you have sufficient room in your cash flow to comfortably pay all the minimum monthly payments plus extra without having to use them to cover other expenses? If the answer is yes, great, you may be able to get out of debt without professional assistance. If the answer is no, it is a perfect time to find out what your options are.
A lot of people think that a Licensed Insolvency Trustee will only advise on bankruptcy but that’s not the case. If you can afford to pay your creditors something back and you want to stop the interest from accruing, a consumer proposal may be the right option for you. A consumer proposal is where an offer is made to the creditors to settle the debt, often for far less than what you owe, and no further interest accrues.
The professionals at D. Thode & Associates will discuss with you the options that best fit your individual situation and help you find a solution to your financial difficulties.
Contact D. Thode & Associates Inc. today for a free, no obligation, consultation.