What is Credit Counselling of Regional Niagara?
CCRN is a non-profit community organization offering no cost/low cost confidential
credit counselling. Your first counselling session is always free. During your appointment,
a counsellor will review your financial situation and present all of the options available
to you. All of our counsellors strive to provide you with information that will help
your situation. Our goal is to empower you, not reprimand you.
What should I bring to my appointment?
We require the following items:
Proof of income (i.e. paystub)
List of monthly expenses and monthly amounts
(i.e. rent/mortgage, utilites, groceries, recreation)
List of creditors, account numbers, and amount owing to each
(please bring recent statements if available)
How long does an appointment take?
The average appointment is approximately 1 hour long.
I do not have transportation to your office. Can I do an appointment over the phone?
Yes. If transportation is an issue, we will schedule a telephone appointment for you.
Is there a fee for your service?
There is no fee for our counselling or budgeting sessions. For most Debt Management
Programs, the fee is 10% of your monthly payment. In case of hardship, the fees will be waived. No one is turned away because of the inability to pay the administration fee.
What is a Debt Management Program (DMP)?
One of your options may be our Debt Management Program. Your counsellor will work
with you to develop a realistic budget. We then contact your creditors to propose a
new payment schedule for you to repay your debts. At that time, most creditors may
accept a reduced monthly payment, and may agree to stop or reduce interest. Once a month
you would send or bring us a payment, which we distribute to your creditors on your
behalf. Overall, we work with you to accomplish your financial goals.
Do all of my debts have to be included on a Debt Management Program?
Yes. For the most effective and equitable treatment of your debts, we need to
include all debts in the Debt Management Program. Your counsellor will ask you to
relinquish all of your credit cards.
Will my creditors still call me?
Once you have signed up on a Debt Management Program, we will be contacting your
creditors. Most communication from creditors will occur directly with us. If a creditor
does call you, you can inform them you are on a DMP and provide them with our name and
What is a credit rating and why is it important?
A credit rating is a reflection of your payment history with your creditors. A
credit rating report is similar to a report card where each of your creditors provides
you with a 'grade' based on your payment history. A good credit rating is important
to have when applying for additional credit such as car loans, mortgages, credit cards, etc.
What are the credit ratings?
GUIDE FOR CONSUMER CREDIT
**There is no '6' rating.
|Usual Manner of Payment
|Too new to rate; approved, but not used.
|Paid within 30 days of billing; pays accounts as agreed.
|Paid in more than 30 days, but not more then 60 days or one payment past due.
|Paid in more than 60 days, but not more then 90 days or 2 payments past due.
|Paid in more than 90 days, but not more then 120 days or 3 payments past due.
|Account is at least 120 days overdue but is not yet in collections.
|Account paid through an orderly payment of debt program or consumer proposal.
|Bad debt, account placed for collection, settlement, bankruptcy.
TERMS OF SALE
O = Open Account (account on which the balance has to be paid at the end of each month)
R = Revolving or Option Account (regular credit card)
I = Installment (all types of loans)
How does a Debt Management Program affect my credit rating?
Your creditor may report your account as "R7", which means your debt is paid
through a consolidation order, consumer proposal, or credit counselling debt management
program. Provided you complete your DMP successfully, the credit rating(s) you received
while with Credit Counselling can be purged 2 years from your completion date. With
other options, your credit rating would stay on for approximately 6 years after the
last date of activity.
How do I obtain a copy of my credit bureau report?
There are two credit bureaus in Canada: Equifax Canada and TransUnion Canada.
You may obtain a free report from one or both of the credit bureaus.
Requests can be made by mail. Equifax will also accept requests by fax.
You can obtain a Credit Report instantly online from either company, however there is
a fee for this service.
P.O. Box 190 Station Jean-Talon
Montreal, Quebec H1S 2Z2
P.O. Box 338 L.C.D.I.
Hamilton, Ontario L8L 7W2
When writing to them, include the following information:
Full name and former name (if applicable)
Current address and previous address
Date of birth
Social insurance number
Photocopies of two pieces of identification
Daytime phone number where you can be reached