Is it time for a financial health check-up?
VANCOUVER -- Times are tough – you don't need us to tell you that. But it might be time for a financial health check-up to make sure you can weather this COVID-19 crisis, and sometimes it takes expert advice to ensure you're on the right path.
It doesn't take much to get into financial trouble. Things can go sideways very quickly and debt can pile up. A new survey shows most Canadians recognize the signs, but what they don't know is where to turn for help when they hit rock bottom.
When McLaughlin On Your Side spoke to Vancouverites, many expressed concern about the current state of their finances.
"I'm laid off, for the moment, and I'm affected by this crisis," one woman said, referring to the pandemic. "It's a big problem for me and my family."
But how do you know when you're really in trouble?
"Rock bottom is when you start to see some warning signs that your finances might be in disarray," says Michelle Pommells, CEO of Credit Counselling Canada.
A new survey from her company shows the majority of Canadians recognize the signs – like borrowing to get to the next paycheque, calls from creditors, going over your credit limit or only paying the minimum payments on your cards.
And debt creates other problems too: it can cause stress in your relationships.
"These are all warning signs or red flags that it might be a good time to seek some help," Pommells says. But Credit Counselling Canada's survey showed four-in-10 Canadians don't know where to turn to for help.
The company is offering a free financial health check-up for all Canadians, and can help link you up with a certified and accredited counsellor. Pommells says it's too hard to go it alone.
"That typically doesn't happen. The problem only gets worse," she says. "Non-profit credit counsellors work for consumers, not for profit."
It's recommended you reach out ahead of time, before the warning signs start to appear. The free health check-up is available to anyone who has any kind of debt.