How to Find Quality Credit Counselling in Kelowna, BC & The Best Debt Help
If you’re look for credit counselling in Kelowna, BC, that’s a wise decision if you need some help with your debts or some help putting together a realistic budget. Good Credit Counsellors can offer a tremendous amount of help, expertise, and knowledge of the different debt relief options that are available in BC. However, not all people who offer credit counselling services necessarily have your best interests in mind. We’ll show you what to look for in a quality credit counselling service and what things to watch out for.
Sales People Work on Commission. See If Your Credit Counsellor is a Sales Person
The first thing you need to know about any Credit Counsellor, Debt Consultant, or debt relief specialist is how they are paid. Do they earn a straight salary and are paid the same regardless of what debt relief option you choose, or do they earn higher compensation if they steer you in a certain direction and sign you up for a certain program or "solution?" As we all know, whenever someone encounters a salesperson who is paid on commission, they will often present the options that pay them the most money in the most favorable light and point out the negative aspects of any option that doesn't pay them anything. It’s hard not to blame sales people for trying to promote their own interests and make a living, but in the debt relief world no “solution” is good for everyone. Each debt relief solution is probably good for only 1 out of 5 of people. That’s why there are many debt relief options, and that’s why you need someone who is going to explore all of them with you and not just promote the one that’s going to pay them the most. Make sure to ask whoever you are thinking of working with how they are paid.
Good Credit Counsellors Look at Many Debt Relief Options
In Kelowna and across British Columbia a number of debt relief options are available. They can include:
- Traditional debt consolidation options
- A Debt Management Program
- A Debt Settlement
- A Consumer Proposal
- Or another solution that you and your Credit Counsellor come up with together
Each of these options has its own pros and cons. Each one can be an excellent option for someone with the right set of circumstances, but each option can also be a poor choice if not approached properly. For example, a U.S. bank once studied all the people it issued debt consolidation loans to over a period of time and determined that more than 70% of these people were not any better off financially after repaying the loan. Most of them had re-accumulated the debt because they didn’t curb their spending that initially got them into debt. If these people had spoken with a good Credit Counsellor before getting their loans, created a realistic budget, and then followed it, there is a much better chance they they could have benefited from consolidating their debts.
Go with an Organization that is Licensed by the Government
Unfortunately, though, some people who hold themselves out as debt relief experts don’t always look out for their client’s long term interests. Instead, they sometimes just sell solutions that sound good, but don’t always end well. This is one reason why the government requires that agencies that offer certain debt relief solutions to be licensed. We would strongly recommend that you only deal with a credit counselling service in Kelowna that either has a “Debt Repayment” license from Consumer Protection BC or is licensed by the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy. You can check here to see if an agency is licensed by Consumer Protection BC or here to see if a company is licensed by the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy. If someone is offering to sign you up for a Consumer Proposal, they must be licensed as a Licenced Insolvency Trustee (LIT). It is not legal for anyone else to offer these services or even fill out the paperwork for them.
Only Work with a Credit Counsellor Who is Upfront about the Downside of an Option You are Considering
If you and the Credit Counsellor you decide to work with conclude that a certain debt relief option appears to be a good way to resolve your financial challenges and move you toward your financial goals, you’ll also want to be fully informed about any negative consequences that may come along with pursuing that option. Every debt relief option can have negative consequences. So good credit counsellors are always fully upfront about this and don’t sugar coat the truth. For example, if it looks like a Consumer Proposal might be a good option for your specific situation, then you’d want to know that it could negatively impact your credit for up to 8 years, it will leave you with a permanent legal record, and it could impact future employment or career choices. After discussing the details of these downsides, a Consumer Proposal still may be an attractive option for some people. However, we believe that everyone should be fully informed before making a decision of this magnitude.
Make Sure The Credit Counsellor is Professionally Accredited
To provide people with sound guidance and quality credit counselling, it’s important that a Credit Counsellor be professionally trained and certified. In Canada, anyone can call himself or herself a Credit Counsellor and try to help people. There are no laws preventing this. So it’s up to you to make sure you deal with a well trained professional. The gold standard in Canada is for a Credit Counsellor to be accredited through the Accredited Financial Counsellor Canada Program. To receive their certification, a Counsellor must complete the AFC course, pass two exams, and complete 1,000 hours of financial counselling. They must then continue with further skills development and education each year in order to maintain their certification. Make sure the credit counselling organization you chose to work with has professionally accredited credit counsellors.
To Sum Up How to Find Quality Credit Counselling in Kelowna, BC
As we've described above, to find top quality credit counselling in Kelowna, BC our best suggestions are to find a credit counselling service where the Counsellors don’t work on commission and don’t just focus on promoting one solution. Instead they should look at a range of options. We’d recommend that the organization also be licensed by the government either through Consumer Protection in BC with a “Debt Repayment” license, or as a Licensed Insolvency Trustee with the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy. Credit Counsellors also need to be upfront and disclose the downside of any option someone is considering. Finally, but very importantly, to truly know the whole picture and provide people with quality guidance and help, we think that an organization’s Credit Counsellors should be professionally certified. If you follow these suggestions, you should be able to find a top quality credit counsellor. In our view, the credit counselling service that best embodies these attributes in Kelowna is the Credit Counselling Society. You should check them out if you need some help.