I have worked for The Financial Fitness Centre in Sarnia for well over 10 years now. During these years I have often heard clients say that they “wish they had heard of us earlier” & “why don’t people know about your services?” Good questions!!!
As a community based, nonprofit agency we continually face the challenge of raising public awareness about our programs and services. Part of the reality of being a not for profit agency is that advertising dollars are limited. We rely heavily on our solid reputation, word of mouth and all the various referral sources; from professionals in the financial industry to fellow community agencies.
The economic downturn has contributed to an assortment of financial hardships for families – household debt increases, job losses, divorce to mention just a few. Where to turn for help can also be a somewhat daunting decision as well. After all, our society does not encourage discussion about our personal finances, so any money difficulties and the various solutions remain uncomfortable to discuss. Is it any wonder we put off and avoid solutions for as long as possible…. Sometimes until it’s too late!
It’s easy to see why one might choose what seems like the easiest & less painful route to take to resolve debt issues. Hence, the “quick fix” remedy.
“For profit” Debt Consolidation outfits - Backed with big advertising dollars that lay claim to:
quick fix solutions,
debts slashed by up to 70%,
Here’s my concern!!! It won’t work.
These are all promises that sound great but in reality come at a big price tag….
Namely, your large, upfront fees. $$$$$$
Locally, I have seen families victimized by these fees that can vary anywhere from a few hundred to several thousands of dollars for nothing more than an empty promise of resolution. When in fact what these companies often do – (aside from cashing your cheques) is make the situation worse.
As a Counselor I am not the only witness to such misfortune –
I invite you to read a recent blog posting written in part by a former non profit Credit Counselor now working for a firm called Hoyes Michalos - as a Client Services Specialist.
As you can see, these concerns are shared by all sorts of financial professionals, from the banking industry to bankruptcy trustees. These financial and community professionals are just as unsettled by these situations as we are.
Here’s what you need to know: If you of someone you know is experiencing financial difficulty of any nature….
Firstly, that you DO have options.
- The Financial Fitness Center is right here in Sarnia and Windsor, providing free consult appointments – where we offer unbiased advice. We are regulated and our agency is an Accredited member of the Canadian Association of Credit Counselling. Canadian Association of Credit Counselling Services - The National Voice for Not-For-Profit Credit Counselling in Canada
Counselors are Qualified, Accredited & Certified. Our Debt Management & Financial Literacy Programs are well respected and recognized within the financial industry.
And best of all, you do not need to pay us for a referral to another professional.
Knowledge is definitely power.
Make a well informed decision.