Debt Consolidation

Debt Consolidation Solutions in Halifax and Kentville, NS

Our goal is to carefully review your financial situation to find a solution that works for you - to keep those harassing calls from creditors at bay and build a more secure financial future for you and your family.

From our offices in Halifax and Kentville, we serve clients throughout Nova Scotia, including Dartmouth, Bedford, Sackville and the Annapolis Valley. When you come in for your free, no obligation consultation, we will review all of your options to find the best solution.

Why Choose Golding & Associates?

We are highly experienced Licensed Insolvency Trustees – regulated, overseen and licensed by the Office of the Superintendent (the Federal Government). The Government of Canada officially endorses only one debt professional to assist individuals in dealing with too much debt – a Licensed Insolvency Trustee. In fact, there are certain types of debt that need to be handled exclusively by a Licensed Insolvency Trustee. Details below.

What is Debt Consolidation?

The act of debt consolidation is when you combine all of your debt (or money you owe) into a single monthly payment (a new loan) instead of paying each of your debts separately each month. Within certain debt consolidation plans, interest charges can even be eliminated. If eligible, choosing debt consolidation can mean a more simple, straightforward path to managing your debt. Usually, debt consolidation involves more palatable terms, which can include a lower monthly payment, a lower interest rate, or in some cases, both!

Debt consolidation can be an effective tool in managing credit card debt, student loan debt, and other liabilities.

Generally speaking, there are two types of debt consolidation loans:

Secured loans

Secured loans are backed by one of the borrower’s assets, such as a house, a car or a boat. That asset, in turn, works as collateral for the loan.

Unsecured loans

As the name suggests, unsecured loans are not backed by assets and can be more difficult to obtain. They also tend to have higher interest rates and lower qualifying amounts. 

With either type of loan, interest rates are still typically lower than the rates you will be charged on a credit card. In most cases, the rates established upfront are fixed and will not change for the duration of the repayment period. Keep in mind that when debts are consolidated, longer payment schedules can sometimes result in a greater total cost – it all depends on the payment plan.

By getting a consolidation loan, there is an end date to the debt. When you consolidate debt, it gets paid off rather than being caught in the cycle of endless minimum monthly payments.

Consolidation loans can be obtained from banks, credit unions and finance companies. Like any loan, always carefully review the terms of the consolidation loan being offered.

Debt consolidation can be an ideal option for those who have multiple debts with very high interest rates or monthly payments—especially for those owing $10,000 or more. And as long as you don’t end up taking on additional debt in the process, you can look forward to becoming debt-free sooner and in full control of your finances.

How do I get a Good Interest Rate on Debt Consolidation?

It’s important to pay attention to the details and compare the interest rate offered to the ones on your current debts – believe it or not, sometimes the consolidation rate is higher. There may also be fees involved if you miss or postpone a monthly payment. The sooner you look for a consolidation loan, the more likely you are to get a good interest rate. Interest rates on loans increase as credit ratings decrease.

To consolidate debts and save money, a higher credit rating will result in the best possible interest rate for you.

A consolidation loan may actually help your credit score in future. Paying off the loan’s principal portion sooner can keep interest payments low – meaning less money out of your pocket. This can help boost your credit score, making you more enticing to future creditors.

Which Types of Debt are Eligible for Consolidation?

Loans, personal lines of credit and credit cards are the most common type of debt that people consolidate. Credit cards tend to have higher interest rates and – coupled with the minimum payment structure – they are the ideal type of debt to look at getting a consolidation loan from your bank or credit union for.

If you owe money for certain types of debts, like the ones mentioned below, banks are often not keen to consolidate these, but a Licensed Insolvency Trustee will be able to assist:

What are my Other Options?

If you have spoken to your bank or credit union and for some reason you don’t qualify for debt consolidation or the interest rates are unreasonably high, there are other options available to you. One viable option might be filing a consumer proposal.

Consumer proposal

A consumer proposal is not a loan but it is a way to consolidate your debt into one affordable monthly payment.  It is a legally binding agreement carefully negotiated with your creditors through a Licensed Solvency Trustee to consolidate your unsecured debts (including government debts like CERB overpayments and income tax) into one monthly payment. Not only are your debts combined into one payment, we can typically get the interest rate reduced to 0% and significantly reduce the amount of debt. A consumer proposal is not a “one size fits all” solution – each proposal is made to match to the circumstances of the individual. Once a consumer proposal is filed, there is a legal stay of proceedings that provides you with immediate legal protection from all creditors and debt collectors. A successful consumer proposal lets you stay in control of your assets, while your unsecured creditors agree to accept less than what is owed to them in full satisfaction of their claim against you.

Credit counselling

Credit counselling could be another way to chip away at your existing debt. We tailor our counselling sessions to meet your specific needs, to find the best way to help get out of debt.

If consolidating your debt is unmanageable regardless of any possible compromise, filing for a bankruptcy may be an option to consider. Filing for bankruptcy will eliminate most unsecured debts, but there are a few exceptions, which we can discuss with you if they apply. Unsecured debts include things like: credit cards, loans, lines of credit, income tax, CERB overpayments and payday loans. You would continue to pay your secured debts (such as car loans and mortgages) if you wish to keep the assets they are attached to.

How can I Get Help Managing my Debts?

If you have any further questions about debt consolidation, credit counselling and bankruptcy, feel free to email (dawn@goldingandassociates.ca) or call us at 902-365-3032 (Kentville) or 902-405-3832 (Halifax) or toll-free 1-855-733-3032.