Our Credit Counselling History
The origin of many of our Member Agencies started with the provision of the necessities of life to people in financial crisis. As early as the 1930′s, community services helped individuals and families with food, clothing and, in some instances, assisted in the purchasing of homes. From these early beginnings in meeting essentials, Credit Counselling had its start.
In the mid to late 1960′s, community groups such as the Consumers Association of Canada, social planning councils, credit grantors associations and family service organizations began working with Agencies in a sponsorship capacity. Agencies began to provide budget counselling to help families and individuals manage their own finances and acquire the skills needed to meet their needs independently.
In 1966, a Select Committee of the Ontario Legislature on Consumer Credit made recommendations which lead to the Consumer Protection Act. One purpose of the new Act was “to promote and assist existing counselling services in respect to consumer credit”. Agencies applied individually to the government for funding under this program and, by 1969, some Agencies were receiving 40% of their budget to a maximum of $5,000 from this government assistance. These Agencies decided to meet to share common concerns and goals.
What Financial Fitness Can Provide
Financial Fitness is a program of the not-for-profit charitable organization Family Services Windsor Essex. Financial Fitness is fully accredited with certified counsellors by the CACCS.
We provide unbiased and confidential services that include education about the fundamentals of money management and budgeting, personal financial assessments and help to find solutions to indebtedness and money problems.
Our agency provides a payment arrangement whereby the debt is paid in full over a limited period of time, it's called a Debt Management Program or DMP. Proposals are more successful when interest concessions are made.
Member Agencies charge fees based upon individual circumstances, but all Member Agencies charge low or no fees for their Credit Counselling Services.
How does this help creditors?
When a client is on a Debt Management Program with a non-profit credit counselling agency we recover 100% of the debts for you. Every month we will send you an agreed upon payment from the client provided the client has made their payment. Our goal is to make sure the clients have an affordable payment plan so that they can make their payments on time. They have access to their counsellor whenever needed to work through any budgeting or expenses issues. We do ask that our creditors make a few concessions to help with the success of this program:
- Reduce interest while clients are on the program allowing them to pay back their debts as quickly as possible
- Consider making a fair share donation back to the credit counselling agency to help fund our program so we can help more clients in need
- Cease collections activity once the client is on a program