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Debt help: Resources to get started

Canadians struggling to manage their finances need to recognize the warning signs that their debt may be getting out of control so they can take action and get help putting their debt behind them. To learn more about how to get started with a debt management plan, a free initial consultation with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee empowers you to find the best solution for your financial situation and lifestyle. Depending on your situation, you may be able to manage your debt by yourself with informal strategies, or you may require formal debt management solutions with the help of a Licensed Insolvency Trustee.

Explore this page to learn more about resources for debt help, and how a Licensed Insolvency Trustee can help you navigate various types of debt. 

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Debt help in Canada

There are many options available to help Canadians manage their debt:

  • Consolidate your debt into a single, low-interest loan
  • Present your creditors with an informal payment plan and schedule
  • Create a formal debt management plan with your creditors
  • A Consolidation Order, an option that is not available in every province, where you pay an administrator who then pays your unsecured creditors on your behalf, with interest
  • File a consumer proposal, administered by a Licensed Insolvency Trustee, where you pay back a portion of the debt you owe to creditors
  • File for bankruptcy and get relief from the majority of your debts. Similar to a consumer proposal, creditors must stop contacting you once you file for bankruptcy

Get debt advice

The best strategy for getting started with debt help is speaking with a friendly, compassionate professional who can offer confidence and relief. That’s exactly what you get when you arrange a personal debt consultation with Grant Thornton.

Online debt help

There are many options for receiving debt advice online. You can contact a debt professional, available coast-to-coast across Canada. We are currently offering our services virtually via phone and video as part of our response to COVID-19

While there’s no substitution for a one-on-one consultation with a debt professional, you can also submit a question to the Ask An Expert page, and we’ll do our best to answer it, right here. 

While you are waiting for your scheduled free personal debt consultation or for a response from Grant Thornton experts, you can also view the Frequently Asked Questions section.

Get started with debt management

Whether you’re struggling with credit card or mortgage payments, or need help with student loan debt, explore the pages below to learn about your options for getting debt help so you can take action now. 

Am I in danger of going into debt?

While carrying some amount of debt is common, some borrowing habits can indicate that you have a debt problem, or are heading for one. Explore 8 common warning signs and learn how you can take action now. 

Click here to learn more about how to recognize the warning signs that you are in debt

How can I get help managing my debt?

Bankruptcy is not the only option for managing debt. Depending on your financial situation, you may be able to navigate your debt by yourself, or you may need a professional. Explore do-it-yourself options for managing your debt and more formal options available through a Licensed Insolvency Trustee. 

Click here for practical debt management tips

How can I improve my credit score if I have debt?

Outstanding debts and high levels of debt compared to your income can affect your credit score. Learn about each section of a credit report and how it is affected by your debt.

Click here to learn about how your debt affects your credit score

How can I get help with mortgage debt?

Your debts may leave you unable to pay your mortgage, and perhaps even miss some payments. Explore your options for mortgage debt help. 

Click here to get help with your mortgage debt

Get help navigating secured creditor debts

A secured creditor is a creditor who has one of your assets as collateral. Explore the debt implications and learn about what options you have if you want to keep the asset. 

Click here to explore options for managing secured creditor debt

I’ve missed my minimum credit card payment. How can I get help with credit card debt? 

People often rely on credit cards during tough financial times, yet they come with one of the highest interest rates. Learn how you can get help with credit card debt and move forward so you can manage your credit cards well. 

Click here to learn more about your options if you miss your credit card payments

I’m in debt with a high-interest payday loan. How can I get help?

Payday loans are short-term, high-fee loans meant to cover a cash shortfall until your next paycheque. Learn how to break free from the payday loan cycle.

Click here to learn more about getting help with payday loan debt

How do I get help with income tax debt?

If you owe Canada Revenue Agency outstanding income tax, they have a surprising amount of power to get what’s owed to them. Additionally, taxpayers who experienced job losses due to the pandemic and qualified for CERB will owe taxes on the amount they received. 

Click here to learn about options for addressing your tax debt and how to avoid tax debt.

How can I get help with student loan debt?

If you’re worried about your ability to repay your student loans, the Canada Student Loans Program has implemented changes that may help you pay down your debt. 

Click here to explore options for getting help with your student loan debt

What debt help options are available for farmers?

There are unique treatments applicable to the agricultural sector under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and under other governing acts.

Click here to learn about debt help for farmers

How can fixed-income seniors get debt help?

It’s not uncommon for retirement-age Canadians to carry increased levels of debt, which puts a strain on them and their adult children. Learn how a debt professional can help seniors find debt relief.

Click here to learn more about debt help for seniors

Read more about debt help

Debt help for CERB overpayments and penalties

Did you apply for the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and receive funds mistakenly? Learn more about CERB overpayments, the penalties potentially involved, and how to repay this debt.

Tips for borrowing money wisely

While credit can be a helpful tool for achieving life goals like attending university or buying a house or a car, some borrowing habits can lead to debt. Explore tips for deciding whether to borrow or not

5 steps to paying back your debt

While some form of debt is common, life-changing events can impact our ability to pay accumulated debt. Explore this step-by-step debt management plan when you need a strategy to pay down your debts. 

Tips for taking control of your finances 

Explore these tips for reducing your debt with healthier financial habits, including setting financial goals that you can review and measure monthly. 

Ask an Expert

Common debt questions. Uncommonly thorough answers.

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