How Debt Help Can Start Your New Year Off RightJan 17, 2019
Are you experiencing that dreaded January debt hangover? Could you use a little help?
The credit card and line-of-credit statements have landed in your inbox or your mailbox and maybe you spent more than you should. You’re not the only Canadian feeling this way in January. In a pre-holiday Manulife survey, six-in-10 holiday spenders admitted that they were willing to take on debt just to purchase gifts.
Unfortunately, there’s no magic cure for a debt hangover, but exploring your options for debt help can provide you with a plan of action to start paying it off.
If you want to get your New Year started off on the right foot keep reading and forget about the New Year’s resolutions. We’ve put together some tips you can do on your own, as well as, a brief breakdown of what professional debt relief options are available to assist with personal debt problems.
Try these strategies to help you reduce personal debt on your own:
- Review your finances and perform a financial health test to see if you can tackle paying off debt on your own; or if the help of a professional is in your best interest.
- Build a monthly budget that works for you. If you need additional
resources on budgeting, check out the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada website.
- Track your spending with a personal finance app. Your budget only works if you stick to it, and these tools can simplify that process by keeping you updated on where and how you’re spending your money.
- Set achievable financial goals that include short, medium and long-term objectives for saving and paying off debt.
Tackling any or all of the above on your own can go a long way in helping you reduce your personal debt. But, even with your best efforts, sometimes debt problems can become too overwhelming to be handled on your own.
So what does getting help for your debt look like?
Here’s a quick overview of some professional debt help options:
- Debt consolidation loan: You can explore this option on your own with a lender. A debt consolidation loan pays off multiple higher interest debts and you’re left with one monthly payment and one debt to pay repay.
- A Credit Counsellor can help you learn new skills to manage money and credit, and can also establish a repayment plan with creditors. Be sure you do you research before choosing a credit counsellor — the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada offers resources and tips on this topic if you want to learn more.
- Consumer Proposal & Bankruptcy: Both of these debt relief options are administered with the help of a Licensed Insolvency Trustee (LIT), who is a financial professional regulated and licensed by the Federal Government. When your debt has become unmanageable or overwhelming, these options may work for you. You can learn more about how a consumer proposal and filing for bankruptcy works here.
Is paying off your debt a goal for you this year? Join the conversation on Twitter using #LeaveDebtBehind or #DebtTips!