10 Common Questions About Consolidated Credit
The answers to the most common queries received by Consolidated Credit
At Consolidated Credit, we receive many questions on a daily basis. Some people want to know about personal finance, some people want to know about our services, and some people would like to know how we can get them out of debt.
Here are the top ten questions that we receive from curious Canadians just like you. Chances are, if you have a question on your mind, it will be answered here. If you get to the bottom of this page and still have questions, feel free to call 1-888-294-3130 to receive detailed answers from one of our trained credit counsellors. Their expert, non-judgmental advice is always free-of-charge. If you’d rather do it online, you can take our Free Debt Analysis.
1. How does your program work?
We are a registered charitable non-profit organization and our main goal is to provide personal financial education and tools that can help you get out of debt. We gather your financial information on the phone, online, or in-person, and do a personal assessment to help determine your best course of action.
2. Do you charge a fee?
There is no fee for the consultation, and our expert advice always comes free-of-charge. If you decide your best course of action is to enter our Debt Management Program (DMP), there is a small one-time set-up fee and a nominal monthly fee that helps cover some of our costs for servicing your account. When you consider the hundreds or thousands of dollars that we will save you in interest payments, you will find that the benefits far outweigh the costs.
3. If you’re non-profit, why do you charge a fee?
We charge a fee to help offset the costs involved with servicing your account. While much of what we do is paid for by your creditors’ contributions, the fees we charge help to defray the rest our expenses.
4. How do I know you are legitimate?
Firstly we are a registered charitable organization under the Income Tax Act. As well, we are a proud member of several organizations including the Canadian Association of Credit Counselling Services, an accredited member of the Better Business Bureau, The Toronto Board of Trade, and The Credit Association of Greater Toronto, and as such we must follow uniform standards of excellence, governance and integrity, including a strong code of ethics. We also have an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
5. Can I keep using my credit cards while on the program?
You have to be willing to give up your credit cards as your creditors will not allow you to continue to charge on these accounts while you are paying them off at the reduced interest rate. If you do need a credit card, we may be able to help you find different options.
6. Will this stop me from getting a mortgage or car loan?
We have many clients who are able to get a mortgage or a car loan while they are on the program. However, every situation is different and it depends on your unique situation. A trained credit counsellor can examine your finances and give you a personalized answer.
7. How do I get approved for the program?
In order to determine your suitability for our Debt Management Program (DMP), we take a thorough look at your budget. We check to make sure that you will have enough funds left over after you pay all of your living expenses to pay towards the DMP payment.
8. How can you get these reduced interest rates and I can’t?
We have excellent relationships with creditors based on a long history of success with clients. Creditors offer clients of Consolidated Credit better terms because they know you are more likely to pay off your debt if you use our service and reward you with a lower rate. You are welcome to negotiate with creditors yourself, but your success will depend heavily on your personal finances and your credit history.
9. Can you negotiate my balance down?
We do not negotiate balances. It’s important to know that negotiating your balances down will have a damaging impact on your credit report. If you qualify for the Debt Management Program, you will pay your balance in full and this will be much better for your credit report.
10. Will the Debt Management Program (DMP) affect my credit?
Everyone’s credit report is different. It really depends on the impact of your reliance on credit prior to joining a program. If you have been late with payments in the past, your credit report may already show signs of delinquency, and making payments through a credit counselling agency may have little impact at the start. Upon joining a program it may appear that you are paying bills through a credit counselling program. This is not necessarily a bad thing; you will be avoiding the notations on your credit report associated with other options such as bankruptcy and consumer proposal, and it is certainly better than doing nothing at all. Over time, regular on time payments and reducing your debt will help to improve your credit profile.