Non-Profit Consumer Credit Counselling

A trained credit counsellor can help you craft a customized strategy to get out of debt and the advice doesn’t cost a thing.

Getting out of credit card debt can feel like an uphill battle, but you don’t have to combat your debt alone. Non-profit consumer credit counselling is designed to help you understand your options for getting out of debt, so you can find the best solution for your needs. A trained credit counsellor can help you take stock of your financial situation. Then together, you can customize a plan to eliminate your high interest rate credit card debt.

This guide explains what credit counselling is, how it works and how it compares to other debt solutions. If you still have questions or you’re ready to get started with your free evaluation, call 1-888-294-3130.

What is credit counselling?

Consumer credit counselling services are designed to help consumers find credit card debt relief. Non-profit credit counselling is not a debt solution in and of itself. Instead, it’s a service that helps you identify the best solution to use based on your debts, credit, and budget.

Learn how for-profit and non-profit counselling services differ »

How does credit counselling work?

Step 1: Get a free debt and budget evaluation from a trained credit counsellor

The credit counselling process starts with one free phone call. A trained credit counsellor will ask for some basic information. Then they’ll ask to you explain your situation in your own words. This will help the credit counsellor understand how you got into debt and identify the root cause of the financial challenges you’re facing. They’ll also review your debts, credit and budget to see where you stand.

Know what to expect when you call for a free credit counselling session »

Step 2: Explore your options for debt relief

Next the credit counsellor will help you compare options for debt relief. There’s more than one way to get out of debt, so it’s important to understand all your options, so you can choose the best solution for your needs.

These are the debt solutions you should discuss during your free credit counselling session:

Step 3: Customize a plan to get out of debt

Enroll in a debt management programIf the best solution for your situation is a debt management program, then you can enroll through the credit counselling organization directly. Credit counselling agencies administer debt management programs, acting as your advocate to negotiate with creditors on your behalf.

Your credit counsellor will help you find a monthly payment that works for your budget. Then they contact your creditors and negotiate to reduce or eliminate interest charges and stop any penalties on your account. Once your creditors accept the plan, you make one monthly payment to the credit counselling service and they distribute the payment to your creditors on your behalf.

What is a debt management program?

A debt management program is an assisted form of debt consolidation because it rolls all your debts into a single monthly payment. However, unlike a debt consolidation loan, you still owe your original creditors. The credit counselling agency simply helps you set up and oversee a repayment plan that works for your budget. A debt management plan helps you get out of debt faster because it minimizes the interest charges applied to your debt. That way, you can focus on paying down your balances, which allows you to get out of debt faster.

Financial counselling to help you stay debt-free

In addition to helping you evaluate your debt and set up a debt management program, nonprofit credit counselling agencies also provide free financial education resources. These resources can help you learn better money management techniques so that once you become debt-free, you can stay that way.

Frequently asked questions about credit counselling

How much does credit counselling cost?

Non-profit credit counselling services are charitable organizations, so they’re designed to be a low-cost option to help you pay off your debt. The initial consultation is entirely free and you’re under no obligation to sign up for anything.

If you enroll in a debt management program, monthly fees are there solely to cover the cost of administering your program. Fees are also based on your budget and level of financial hardship and they are included in your monthly payment.

First credit counselling sessionFree
Debt management programMonthly administration fee based on your budget

How does credit counselling affect your credit score?

Getting a free debt evaluation from a trained credit counsellor will not negatively affect your credit. That way, you can understand your options for getting out of debt without damaging your credit score.

If you decide to enroll in a debt management program, the program will be noted in your credit report. This can decrease your credit score, although the exact amount your score will drop depends on where your score is when you enroll. This notation will remain on your credit report for two years from the date you complete the program.

See how Consolidated Credit Counselling Services has helped other consumers like you

Consolidated Credit Counselling Services has helped over half a million Canadians find relief from credit card debt. A debt management program isn’t for everyone, but when it’s used in the right situation, it helps you get out of debt faster with less money wasted on accrued monthly interest charges.

This map shows just how many people we’ve helped through our debt management program.

You can also click the links to find real examples of clients we’ve helped from different provinces, territories and cities:

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