Living with debt can become a way of life—if you’re not careful.

Think of debt like a hurricane. At first, you know you’re in trouble, and you try to weather the storm, doing whatever necessary to survive. When you go numb to the effects of debt, it’s like walking into the eye of the storm. Everything is calm, and you think you’re okay. But in reality, you’re right in the thick of it, and more trouble is coming.

Walking Down the Steps of Financial Ruin

The hardest part about facing debt is when you realize that you don’t earn enough money to pay all the bills and you have to choose between necessities like food and your debt. When this starts to happen every month, you can almost feel yourself being swept away by the storm.

If you’re standing on one of these seven steps, find help:

  1. You don’t have a record of all your debt and you start getting bills that you don’t recognize.
  2. You push aside unexpected bills because you can’t pay, and then they triple with late fees.
  3. You start paying your bills on credit, juggling debt from one card to the next just to stay afloat.
  4. Your credit is tapped, and there is nothing left to catch you.
  5. Debt collectors send letters, and then the phone calls start.
  6. Creditors take legal action with law suits and wage garnishments.
  7. Your personal life becomes a mess as depression and anxiety start to take over.

Don’t Wait for the Storm to Pass Before You Find Help—It Won’t
If you are lucky, you have found this blog early enough to avoid most of the damage debt can cause, but only if you take action.

You can start by getting credit counselling. Make sure that you find a legitimate business that will not take advantage of you. You should never have to pay large up-front fees, and every part of your counselling should be clearly expressed so that you understand what is going on.

Your three options for handling large amounts of debt are as follows:

  • Consolidation loans
  • Debt management plans
  • Debt settlement

Each of these three solutions has their pros and cons, and you should speak with a counsellor about all of them before you make a decision about how you will control your debt.

What You Can Do When the Damage is Already Done
If you can’t consolidate, afford a debt management plan, and your creditors won’t settle for less than what you owe, it’s time for you to speak with one of our trustees here at Harris & Partners Inc. We have been working with people in your exact situation for over fifty years, and we can help you too.

When you speak with a trustee at our firm, you will be advised about all your options. You may be in a position to file a consumer proposal instead of bankruptcy, which will allow you to keep most of your assets. And if bankruptcy really is the best option for you, then we will help you know how to start taking steps towards your financial freedom.