What is credit counselling
Credit counselling is “Financial Fitness”, based on:
- Personal money management counselling (including budgeting)
- Debt management programs
- Promotion of consumer credit education
The Credit Counselling service is NOT a lending institution or a collection agency. The Credit Counselling service acts as a mediator between a debtor and his/her creditors. The success of the program is made possible by fees, donations and most credit grantors.
What do we do?
- HELP you form a clear picture of your financial situation.
- ANALYZE your finances for a full financial picture, including income, living expenses, debts, etc.
- TEACH you to develop and manage your personal budget.
- ARRANGE and ADMINISTER the Debt Management Program with creditors after you have worked out a budget and a repayment plan.
- NEGOTIATE with you and your creditors
- REFER to other community services where necessary
- BANKRUPTCY counselling
YOU – When people with debt problems regain control of their finances, hope, self-reliance and well-being are often restored.
YOUR FAMILY – A good Financial Fitness plan reduces stress and conflict in the home.
YOUR CREDITORS – The debtor who has resolved his/her financial problems becomes a better money manager and a more informed credit consumer.
YOUR COMMUNITY – Improving personal money management and educational programs contribute to economic and social stability.
What does it cost?
Your initial interview is FREE OF CHARGE. For further counselling, third party mediation or a Debt Management Program, there is a fee based on your ability to pay.
The Credit Counselling Program is supported by finance companies, retailers, banks, credit unions, and the United Way of Chatham-Kent.
The Credit Counselling Program at Family Service Kent was accredited by the Ontario Association of Credit Counselling Services in 2009. This insures the highest quality of standards are maintained.
How does credit counselling work?
Once you make an appointment for a confidential interview to discuss your financial situation with our counsellor, you will be asked to bring:
- the latest statement from each unpaid bill
- pay cheque stubs and information about other income sources
- a list of living expenses
- any other financial information
Your counsellor will review this information with you, discuss the various options available to you and the consequences.
You many be able to manage for yourself at this point, or you may need the assistance of your counsellor to contact creditors to arrange a repayment program.
You can meet regularly with your counsellor to learn how to handle your financial responsibilities effectively.
Who are we?
Family Services Kent is a charitable incorporated organization providing professional counselling services and community support services to all residents of Chatham-Kent.