Is a Consumer Proposal the Right Answer?
Over the last few years, as Canadian consumer debt levels have risen, many Canadians have found a consumer proposal to be a very viable option for debt relief. When debt becomes overwhelming and payments are being missed, climbing out of the hole can seem impossible. Sometimes a consumer proposal is the best way to get a handle on things and start fresh, but is it always the answer?
With a consumer proposal, a careful review of your financial situation results in a proposed amount to be repaid to your existing creditors. This number is then presented to the creditors, and the majority must accept. Once accepted, the proposal is legally binding.
The benefits of a consumer proposal are well known. Once a proposal is accepted by the majority of your creditors and is in place, you no longer have to pay interest, can pay the debt back over 4-5 years, and often have to pay back less than the total owed. Additionally, all debts included in the proposal are combined and so you only have to make one monthly payment. The downside is that your credit will take a hit, but if you’re considering a proposal, this may have already happened.
As far as how much debt is enough to warrant a consumer proposal, there is no established minimum, but people don’t generally file one unless they owe $8000 or more.
Sound too good to be true? It isn’t. Really.
But is it the best option?
Let’s compare it to another popular debt relief option, a second mortgage. A second mortgage using some of the equity in your home is another great way to get a handle on your debt. Although it involves interest, you can make the term shorter so that the debt is paid off sooner. A second mortgage has the same benefit as a consumer proposal in that it consolidates all your debt into one smaller monthly payment, although it doesn’t reduce the amount of your debt or eliminate the payment of interest. A second mortgage is also much better credit-wise and won’t result in the negative impacts to your credit. Of course, you need equity to go this route, but if you have it, it can be a smart option.
When it comes to dealing with debt that has grown to an unmanageable amount, a consumer proposal may be the best option, but as you can see, it is worth discussing your financial situation with a financial consultant prior to making a decision to see if any other options are worth pursuing, such as a second mortgage.
At DebtCare, our goal is to help you find the right debt solution to suit your circumstances, be it a consumer proposal or something else.
Want to get started? Call us today at 1 (888) 890-0888.