May 8, 2013

Most people are honest and want to pay their debts, however, for a variety of reasons may be unable to do so.

People can have trouble paying their bills for a variety of reasons including illness, injury, job loss, divorce, or poor financial planning.

There are Solutions for those who feel they are losing control of their finances. Through financial planning and credit counselling people are able to get back on track and become financially secure again.

The first step is to realize you are experiencing financial problems and start taking positive steps to resolve it. This means stop using credit and credit cards.

Next, add up all your debt to determine your current financial situation. Perhaps you could get a part-time job and use that income exclusively to pay off your debt? However, be careful to consider the extra taxes you will need to pay.

Work with creditors. The people you owe money to will not go away. Contact them immediately and explain your financial situation. Most creditors are willing to work with you to arrange a payment plan, but you need to act right away. If you do not want to contact them yourself – call Solutions Credit Counselling Service Inc. and we will be happy to do it for you.

Don’t Be Afraid to ask for Help

Credit counselling services provide counselling on debt issues. They are neither charitable nor lending institutions, but advisory services where consumers can obtain, for a fee, advice and counselling on buying on credit, personal money management, handling credit problems and getting out of debt.

What to Do If You Are Contacted By a Creditor

If a collector contacts you, it does not mean you are a bad person. Perhaps you have had an unexpected turn of events that led to a delinquent account. Or simply have mismanaged your money and need to adjust your budget. Whatever the reason, don’t be embarrassed. Stay calm and consider all your solutions to settle the account as quickly as possible.

When you are contacted by a collector, remember the follow:

          Don’t Panic. Professional collectors are trained experts in credit and collections and can help you solve payment problems if you let them.

          Don’t get angry. Your account was forwarded by a business that delivered goods or services to you with the understanding that you would repay them. They value your business and simply want to settle the account.

          Work with the collector. It is better if you are proactive and communicate with the collector to solve payment problems. Failure to contact the collector may be implying you are avoiding the debt. If you believe that there has been a mistake and do not owe money, inform the collector, listen and keep copies of all correspondence.

          Be honest about your financial situation - Or let a Licensed Credit Counsellor do it for you!

Don’t Become another Victim

Senior citizens are the main targets in most financial scams. The main reasons for this:

          Scammers’ believe that older people are more trusting and polite to strangers.

          Scammers are skilled at knowing their facts in order to appear legit, causing older people to become confused about what is real and what is not.

          Scammers prey on the fact that many older people live alone without daily personal contact, causing some to feel lonely and more vulnerable.

Where Scam Occur

          Phone Scams – each year, thousands of consumers lose money to these scammers, the majority being older citizens.
          Other popular scams come from your daily pile of mail or by a knock at the door

The Five Most Common Scams

          Business Opportunities – Especially the ones that pay a lot for hardly any work.

Even though we might wish this to be true, we all realise the two don’t go hand-in-hand. A rule of thumb here is if you have to pay an amount to work for them, it’s probably not legit.

          Get rich quick schemes – The only one getting richer here is the con artist implementing the scheme.

          Health Scams – Con artists love to prey on people who are having a difficult time. Be wary of scientific breakthroughs you haven’t heard of or secret formulas that cure everything under the sun.

          Free prizes or vacations if you signup and of course give your credit card numbers. Never give your credit card numbers to someone that places a call to you.

          Credit repair scams – Beware of companies that say they can erase your financial debt for a small fee. Unfortunately, debt cannot be that easily erased. Instead, contact Solutions Credit Counselling Service we offer assistance with credit bureaus reports, debt management programs and credit education to assist you with any financial difficulties.

Ways to Protect Yourself

          Throw out or hang up on any solicitation that asks for payment for a “free” gift.

          Don’t buy from unfamiliar companies, and unless you make the call, don’t give out your credit card number.

          Educate yourself. Learn about new scam and laws that callers must follow. The more you know, the better prepared you will be if a potential scam occurs.

          Ask for written material, especially for those solicitations regarding charities. Most companies that are legitimate will gladly send any material you request.

          Take your time to make decisions. If you feel rushed, hang up or ask the person to slow down.

          Use common sense – If you feel uncomfortable just say “No Thanks”

What If I Become a Victim?

          Don’t Panic. Take a deep breath, count to three and then get started.

          Act Quickly. First, contact the two credit bureaus and tell them you’ve been a victim of fraud. Next, contact your bank and credit card providers to cancel all cards. Finally, file a report with your police.

          Take Control. Don’t let your thief get the upper hand. Instead, chart your course of action and educate yourself on what is going on.

Seek Help. You are not alone!