If your childhood household was anything like mine, the unspoken rule at home was that no one was allowed to discuss our financial situation with anybody outside the home. Not friends, not relatives. No one. We also couldn’t ask our friends about their family’s financial situation. Honestly, I don’t feel my family was all that different from most when it came to this off-limits subject. Money matters were kept very private and financial hardship was stigmatized.
Fast forward to today’s world and not much has changed. It’s still the norm for most families to keep their finances (good or bad) under wraps. Financial education is improving slightly in our schools but many children still aren’t taught how to use credit wisely or how to effectively manage their money once they become independent.
This stigma surrounding financial pressures continues to be ingrained in many of us. The silence around financial issues, and a belief that “I can handle this myself and don’t need any help from anyone” is what can actually lead to severe struggles in our lives. The result of all this lack of discussion about our finances? We don’t reach out quickly enough to get help from trained professionals.
Instead, we try to resolve our financial pressures alone. Most of the time this results in further damage to our credit rating, a harmful impact on our most important relationships (money problems are the primary reason many couples split up today) and incredible stress in our daily lives. Looking for quick fixes, we find ourselves borrowing from one source of credit to pay down another, or end up avoiding repeated calls from collection agents. Some of us even turn to high risk credit like payday loans when our situations become desperate.
If you have tried repeatedly to work out your financial pressures by cutting expenses, trying to follow a budget and reduce the use of credit, but are still not able to pay those bills as they pile up, then it may be time to break your silence and reach out for help. You may realize speaking with a licensed insolvency professional (i.e. a Trustee) could be very enlightening.
Many people worry about speaking to a Trustee. They’re afraid of being judged, are embarrassed about their debt or convinced the Trustee will automatically push them into bankruptcy. Some fear the Trustee will notify their employer, or family and friends, and believe even the simple act of meeting with the Trustee will damage their credit rating. Luckily, these fears are not true. Trustees are licensed and trained to review your financial situation and are required, under the Bankruptcy & Insolvency Act (the BIA), to provide you with important details of all your available options. They are trusted professionals and are there to help you obtain relief from your debt pressures.
Most Trustees will offer you an initial consultation at no charge. The meeting will be a “no-judgement zone” so don’t worry about feeling embarrassed or uncomfortable. A Trustee is there to help you and will quickly put your fears to rest. When you meet or speak with a Trustee during your free consultation a personalized solution will be presented to you based on the information you provide regarding your household’s income, assets owned and amounts owed. Remember that every financial situation is unique and the solution to debt worries also needs to be.
As we’ve discussed here, the stigma in our society about discussing money pressures is widespread. But speaking with a Trustee will allow you to understand how Licensed Insolvency Professionals can work with you to resolve your existing debt and put you back in control of your finances.