A quick internet search of “debt options” will quickly overwhelm you with the amount of conflicting and confusing information available.    This can be very frustrating if you are already feeling the stress of debt issues.    There are a lot of options available, and for many bankruptcy is considered a last resort.

The first option that most people try is to apply for a consolidation loan from their bank.  If you have a steady income, and you are not too far behind with your debt payments, then this option may be a good choice for you.  It is important to consider this option carefully to make sure that the monthly payment is affordable.  Sometimes, people enter into a consolidation loan agreement and find that the monthly payments are too difficult to maintain.  As a result they end up relying on their credit cards again for monthly expenses- which means their debt load increases over time.

If a consolidation doesn’t work for you, it is possible to enter into informal arrangements with your creditors.  If you are proactive and reasonable with your creditors, they will often accept reduced payments or they may reduce their interest rates, allowing you to get out of debt faster.

Many individuals are nervous about negotiating with their creditors and prefer to get the assistance of a professional.  Credit Counselling services will often help by negotiating a settlement on your behalf.  Debt settlement programs will help you become debt free in a five year period, and the interest and monthly payments are often reduced.

Many people find that the payments in a debt settlement program are still too high to maintain within their budget.  If that is the case, a consumer  proposal is a great option for those individuals that can afford to pay something, but can’t afford the payments with the current interest rates and balances.  Consumer proposals allow you to make one interest free monthly payment that fits your budget.  It also can allow you to keep your house, car and RSPs in many cases.

Only a licensed Trustee in bankruptcy can help you file a consumer proposal.  There are many debt settlement companies on the market that offer to reduce your overall debt load, and reduce your payments.  Some of these companies charge up front frees, and can make  your credit situation worse than it is before seeking help.  A licensed Trustee will usually meet with you for free to discuss your debt issues, and will not charge you extra fees to administer your consumer proposal.

If you are still having trouble deciding which option is best, take advantage of the free consultation offered by Trustee’s in your area.  A trusted advisor will meet with you in person to discuss your unique situation and will help you choose the best option to get you on the road to a debt-free life.