Debt repayment can be a challenging journey. Fortunately, debt forgiveness programs offer a way out for individuals struggling to pay off their debts. These programs can help to eliminate or reduce outstanding debt, offering individuals the chance to achieve financial freedom.
In this article, we will explore the different debt forgiveness options available in Alberta, providing insights into how these programs work and what individuals can expect when pursuing debt forgiveness.
What is debt forgiveness (Alberta)?
Debt forgiveness is a process whereby a lender or creditor agrees to cancel some or all of a borrower’s outstanding debts. This may be done as a result of the borrower’s inability to repay their debts due to financial hardship, unforeseen circumstances, or for other reasons.
Debt forgiveness programs can be offered by government agencies, non-profit organizations, or even creditors themselves, usually if they recognize they are unlikely to receive payment in full from an individual debtor.
In Canada, debt forgiveness may take different forms, such as loan forgiveness, debt restructuring, or debt settlement. These programs can help individuals move on from their biggest money worries, allowing them to rebuild their financial stability and creditworthiness.
We have a wide range of debt management solutions that could help you write off up to 80% of your debts
Debt relief options that include debt forgiveness
A consumer proposal is the only formal legal debt forgiveness program available in Canada. It is a debt relief option that is available to residents of Alberta, Canada, and it involves negotiating a payment plan with your creditors to pay off a portion of your debts.
In a consumer proposal, you work with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee (LIT) who will help you create a proposal to share with your creditors. This proposal will outline the amount you are willing to pay back and the length of time you will take to do so. Your LIT will then present this proposal to your creditors, who will have the option to accept or reject it.
If your creditors accept the proposal, you will make one monthly payment to your LIT, who will distribute the funds to your creditors. Once you have completed the payment plan, any remaining debt will be forgiven, and you will be free of the debts included in the arrangement.
Debt relief options that don’t include debt forgiveness
There are several debt relief options available in Canada that – while not offering debt forgiveness – could help you restructure your debt and manage repayments more easily.
Debt Management Plan
A debt management plan is a structured repayment plan that is arranged through a credit counselling agency.
With a DMP, the agency will work with your creditors to negotiate a lower interest rate and a more affordable monthly payment.
You will still be required to pay back the full amount of your debts, but the DMP can make it easier to manage your payments and reduce the amount of interest you are paying.
Credit counselling is a service provided by organizations that can help you develop a budget and create a debt repayment plan.
With credit counselling, you will work with a trained counsellor who can provide you with financial education and support. They can help you negotiate with your creditors to set up a payment plan that is more manageable for you.
You can find a suitable credit counsellor by using reputable sources like the Better Business Bureau.
Debt settlement is a process whereby you negotiate with your creditors to settle your debts for less than the full amount owed.
With debt settlement, you will make a lump sum payment to your creditors, which will typically be less than the full amount owed.
Debt settlement can be an effective way to reduce your overall debt, however failure to repay your debt in full can also have a negative impact on your credit rating.
Does a debt consolidation loan offer debt forgiveness?
Debt consolidation loans typically do not offer debt forgiveness. Instead, they allow borrowers to combine multiple debts into one loan, which often comes with a lower interest rate and a longer repayment period.
By consolidating their debts, borrowers can simplify their finances and reduce their monthly payments, making it easier to manage their debt. While debt consolidation loans do not typically offer debt forgiveness, they may help borrowers pay off their debts faster and more efficiently.
It’s important to note that debt consolidation loans are not a one-size-fits-all solution, and they may not be the best option for everyone. Borrowers should carefully consider their financial situation and consult with a financial advisor or credit counsellor to determine the best course of action for their individual needs.
Will debt forgiveness impact my credit report?
The exact impact that debt forgiveness will have on your credit rating will depend on a number of factors, including your overall credit history, the type and amount of debt that was forgiven, and the specific terms of the debt forgiveness agreement.
In general, debt forgiveness is likely to have a negative impact on your credit rating, as it will be seen as a failure to repay your debts in full.
However, it is worth noting that the impact of debt forgiveness on your credit rating will typically be less severe than the impact of defaulting on your debts or declaring bankruptcy.
It is also important to note that the impact of debt forgiveness on your credit rating will lessen over time, and there are steps you can take to rebuild your credit after debt forgiveness, such as making timely payments on any remaining debts and using credit responsibly.
Here’s an example of how we can help.
Total amount owed:
Your monthly repayments
Reduced by 88%
Monthly payments are based on individual financial circumstances
What should I do if I have unsecured debts I can’t afford to repay?
If your unsecured debts are piling up and you’re struggling to make minimum payments, there are several steps you can take to manage your situation.
Seek debt advice immediately
The first step is to seek professional debt advice. Licensed Insolvency Trustees, credit counsellor, or financial advisor can help you assess your situation, review your options, and create a plan to maintain your cash flow and manage your debts.
Prioritize your debts
Money management skills can help you deal with your debts. Make a list of all your debts and prioritize them based on the interest rates and the consequences of not paying them.
Focus on paying off high-interest debts and those with severe consequences, such as tax debts or secured debts like mortgages or car loans, and make sure you know exactly what goes in and comes out of your bank account.
Consider using a formal debt solution
There are formal debt solutions available in Canada that can help you repay a portion of your debts over a set period of time via affordable monthly payments, like the aforementioned consumer proposal.
Formal debt solutions shouldn’t be taken lightly, however, so it’s important to understand the potential impacts before signing up.
Where can I get help dealing with credit card debt and other repayments?
If you’re struggling with debt and looking for a solution that could help you on your journey towards a debt-free life, A. Fisher & Associates can provide the advice and support you need.
As Licensed Insolvency Trustees, we can help you understand your options, including debt forgiveness programs, and develop a plan to improve your financial situation.
We know that debt can have a huge impact on your life. That’s why we offer the expertise to help you overcome these challenges and move forward. Take the first step by getting in touch with us today.