- Will accept you if your total debt is less then $10,000
- Can reduce your interest rates
- Can help reduce collection harassment
- Reported to your credit report as a R7 and as bad for your credit rating as bankruptcy
- Doesn’t reduce the principal balance of your debt
- Total cost is typically 2-3 times higher than debt settlement
- Length of program is typically 2 years longer then debt settlement
- Credit counselling companies can be funded by your creditors
Credit counselling can be a good way to resolve debt while avoiding bankruptcy. But, it can be like an onion; once you peel back the layers, you may cry after you see what you are getting into.
What credit counselling companies do (regardless of profit status) is arrange for you to pay back your full principal balance(s) on terms that are easier for you to service. That usually means a reduced interest rate. What this means is that if you owe $10,000 and you are paying an average of 18.99% interest on all your debts, you will still owe the $10,000 but they will hopefully reduce your interest rate to half of your original rate and sometimes set more affordable payments usually over a longer period of time. Provided you can afford the entire plan and fees, you will be debt free at some point.
They can be for profit or non-profit, but remember non-profit does not mean free, they still charge fees. The non-profit companies are also usually compensated somehow by the creditors you owe, and if you dig a little deeper some have a board of directors that may include the very creditors you owe. Credit counselling companies do not reduce the principal you owe and can keep you in debt longer then our debt settlement plan would.
Credit counselling is also reported to your credit report as a R7 and viewed negatively by every credit grantor. As a result, if you are in a 5 year repayment plan, don’t count on using credit cards, getting a car loan or mortgage for the next 5 years plus the time it takes you to re-establish your credit rating.
The main problem of course is that most credit counselling organizations are essentially working for the creditors you owe. Most people end up paying twice the money to clear up debt in credit counselling then in Total Debt Freedoms debt settlement plan.
Unlike credit counselling, debt settlement actually reduces the principal balance owed by you to around 40%-70% of your original balance and gets you out of debt in up to half the time. A credit counselling company regardless of profit status can’t do that.
For an in-depth look into credit counselling in Canada, read this blog titled: What is credit counselling?