Financial Counselling in Canada – I had to get financial counselling, it sucks to be at that point but at least you are thinking of getting some help. That step is very important in sorting out your finances but when you are down there are a lot of blood suckers out there happy to take advantage of your situation to line their own pockets rather than help your situation. That being said, there are a lot of resources and places you can go that will give you genuine help and Canada is pretty well regulated in these areas.
Financial Counselling in Canada
This subject is an important one. Firstly I don’t think you should pay out of pocket and secondly you should double check any agreements, arrangements or contracts you are going to enter into. Getting it right is essential but a good resource will help you with that.
I wrote about this subject over on Frugal Zeitgeist and thought that I would share the information from that article below:
Although there is a large enough for-profit sector in Canada’s financial counselling business the not-for-profit sector is still overwhelming larger and more regulated. In Canada you need to be a member of certain organisations and hold charitable status to provide accredited not-for-profit services. This effectively means you can get financial help and counselling for free and the agencies are funded from charitable donations, mostly from the banking industry.
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In most cases, except in Quebec, not for profit companies can take you on and help you organise your own credit management, act on your behalf and set up various plans and even help you with the steps towards bankruptcy.
I just have to disclaim, I am not a financial professional and the advice in this post is as far as I know correct but I can’t be held responsible if it is not. Use common sense and only deal with accredited companies.
OACCS and CACCS
The Ontario Association of Credit Counselling Services and the Canadian Association of Credit Counselling Services are the organisations that provide the foundations and criteria for registered companies to adhere to. Their websites give you access to registered companies, offer trusted information and transparently tell you what to do and where to turn. On the flip side if you want to become registered with them the information is there. Check out oaccs.com and caccs.com for more information.
Credit Counselling Canada
CCC is the Canadian not-for-profit association. They have member companies shared with oaccs and caccs and offer great services on their site creditcounsellingcanada.ca. Here is the text from their about page:
Credit Counselling Canada (CCC) is the national association of not-for-profit credit counselling and government agencies that work provincially, regionally and locally throughout Canada. Only not-for-profit registered charitable organizations are accepted as association members by our Board of Directors.
This common bond of charitable, not-for-profit status ensures that all member activities remain focused on assisting those in need by providing timely and useful help. This commitment is also reflected in our independent accreditation process which requires adherence to the highest standard of service.
While CCC members work at the community level to provide consumers service choices that include face-to-face, telephone, and internet-enabled information – our association’s national policies deal with matters of client service, our leadership team executive engages in continuous lobbying on consumer legislation and regulation.
The defining quality of credit counselling as practiced by our members is the sensitivity shown by counsellors as they strive to resolve your difficulties using unique solutions designed to fit your individual needs. Since we first began, hundreds of thousands of Canadians have benefited and you can too!
Quebec agencies work a bit differently and they tend to provide similar education but when in contact with creditors will not represent for you. Inside they will negotiate with the creditors on your behalf and help them go softer on you. These groups are known as ACEFs which stands for ‘Association coopérative d’économie familiale’. 10 of these agencies are represented by the Union des consommateurs. The Coalition of Consumer Groups represents 21 agencies.
Further reading – If you want to learn more about financial counselling in Canada including it’s history, more details on each association and agency and further recommendations then check out this research paper titled “Financial Literacy and the Canadian Credit Counselling Services Industry” by Adriana E. Molina.
The full original article can be found here: Financial Counselling in Canada
Hopefully this information is somewhat useful. If you have had any experience with this subject then your first hand experience is invaluable so I would love for you to comment. If you are going to be finding help then do more research, contact the sources in this article and get it right. You need to make the right moves.
Related: What Is The Secret To Saving Money?
Thanks for reading. - Financial Counselling in Canada