As a Licensed Insolvency Trustee (“LIT”) I have often come across professionals in the investment world who find themselves unable to help their clients reach their financial goals, due to lack of cash flow in their monthly budget. The culprit is more often than not the unsecured debt their clients are carrying.
When you have high interest loans, credit cards or lines of credit (or a combination thereof), after making your minimum monthly payments, you may find that you have little or nothing left. Often, this leads to having to use those same credit facilities to make purchases for necessities such as rent, groceries, transportation or medical needs. You may also find that you have a desire to prepare yourself for your future by investing in an RRSP, RESP for your children or purchasing life insurance, but can’t afford these things due to the crushing debt load.
There are several ways that you can tackle your debt problem. The first step should be to write down what’s coming in (income) and what’s being spent (expenses). How much is left after deducting your expenses from your income to tackle your debt and to set aside for investing?
Secondly, write down each creditor along with the balance due, interest rate and minimum monthly payment required. It’s important to look at the amount of debt you have so that you can come up with a plan to deal with it. It’s also important to understand how long it will take you to pay off your debt. For example, if you owe $10,000 on your credit card with a 19% interest rate and you only make the minimum monthly payment (and make no new purchases), it will take you 344 months to pay it off. What’s more, it will cost you an additional $15,239.61 in interest!
If you are feeling a bit overwhelmed after going through this exercise, you may want to consider a consumer proposal to help consolidate and lower your unsecured debt. A consumer proposal provides the following benefits:
· In most cases, significantly reduces the total amount of your debt
· Interest stops accruing
· Pay off the balance with an affordable payment within a five-year period
This option allows you to deal with your debt and improve your cash flow, thus allowing you to work towards your financial goals.
Contact one of the helpful professionals at D. Thode & Associates Inc. today to discuss your financial situation and see if a consumer proposal is the right option for you.