Debt.ca Debt Relief Services Review | Finder Canada
Finder is committed to editorial independence. While we receive compensation when you click links to partners, they do not influence our content.

Debt.ca debt relief services review

Last updated:  

If you're struggling with too many debts or looking for a way to get out of the red, Debt.ca can help you understand your debt relief options.

Debt.ca can help you with unsecured debts. Student loans, mortgages, HELOCs, vehicle loans and tax or government debt are excluded from this service.

Varies

Interest Rate

300

Min. Credit Score

If you’re juggling credit card due dates, personal loan repayments, lines of credit and collections calls, Debt.ca aims to help you understand what debt relief options are available to you, help you create a plan to get out of debt and avoid bankruptcy, and connect you with your lenders to settle your debts as quickly and smoothly as possible.

30-second take

  • Think of Debt.ca if you’re stressed about your debts but you don’t know how to fix your financial problems or work with your creditors to settle your debts owed.
  • Pick something else if your debts are all secured.
  • Keep in mind, Debt.ca isn’t a direct lender. Instead, it connects consumers in debt with credit counselling agencies and debt settlement specialists to help you figure out your next steps in getting out of the red.

What is Debt.ca?

Debt.ca provides information, tools and resources to help Canadians get out of debt, including debt calculators, articles on debt relief options like consumer proposals, debt settlement and debt consolidation. It aims to help people in debt learn more about their debt relief options before making the best decision for them to move forward.

It also connects you with debt service providers near you, based on your postal code and your individual financial situation with your debts. After you plug in your details, such as how much money you owe in unsecured debt, your credit score and your postal code, Debt.ca connects you with a local debt specialist that is licensed by the government to help you work with your creditors to come to a settlement agreement. Ultimately, Debt.ca says that these debt relief options can help you get out of debt faster and with less interest paid on your debts owed.

What types of options does Debt.ca offer?

If you’re drowning in debt or you’re on the brink of filing for bankruptcy, Debt.ca points to a series of debt relief options that can help you reduce the amount of debt you owe, combine all of your payments into one lower monthly payment and get out of debt in as little as two to four years.

The debt relief options Debt.ca can help you with include the following:

  • Debt settlement. If you’re facing late payments and collection calls, debt settlement may be a good option to help you come to an agreement with your creditors. In this case, Debt.ca will connect you with a debt settlement company who will contact your lenders on your behalf to settle your debts. In a debt settlement, you will offer your creditors a lump sum of cash – less than what you owe – to settle your debts. If your creditor agrees to the settlement, your account will be closed and will report as settled on your credit report. You will also need to pay the debt settlement company an upfront fee and/or a percentage of the amount settled. It’s worth warning that your credit score will take a hit with a debt settlement but it won’t be as bad as filing for bankruptcy or continuing to miss payments on your loans. Learn about the difference between debt settlement and bankruptcy.
  • Debt consolidation loans. If you have multiple debts you’re having trouble keeping up with, a debt consolidation loan combines them all into a single monthly payment set at the lowest interest rate possible. This makes it easier for you to pay off your debt because you only have one bill to worry about. A lender approves you for a loan and sets your interest rate based on your credit score. Your monthly payments are then divided across your existing debts. Learn more about debt consolidation loans in general.
  • Credit counselling. Credit counselling provides you with a long-term approach to paying off your debts and understanding money management so you can stay out of debt moving forward. If you’re paired with a credit counselling agency, the counsellors will take a look at your income and debts to create a debt management plan tailored to what fits your budget best. Credit counsellors can act as a mediator between you and your creditors to negotiate for a lower interest rate and lower monthly payments on your loans. While you’re paying off your debt, your credit counsellor will also teach you about creating a budget with concrete actions to reach your goals.
  • Consumer proposal. A consumer proposal is another option to evade bankruptcy. A Licensed Insolvency Trustee (LIT) will help you file a consumer proposal, which is a legally binding arrangement between you and your creditors to settle your debts. Your LIT works in your corner to get you the best deal possible to lower your debt repayments. This route also hurts your credit score and stays on your credit report for up to seven years. You must owe less than $250,000 in unsecured debt to qualify for a consumer proposal.
  • Bankruptcy. Debt.ca may recommend bankruptcy and connect you with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee to help with the process. Bankruptcy is often a last resort option because it negatively impacts your credit score for at least six years, the filing becomes public record and it comes with costly fees. However, it can provide you with a fresh start on your finances and removes all of your existing debts. Find out whether bankruptcy is for you.

Across the board, these debt relief options have their advantages and disadvantages. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which option is right for you. Debt.ca provides the resources you need to get informed on each option then connects you with debt relief specialists and credit counsellors to help you with your next steps.

Why should I consider working with Debt.ca?

If you’re on the fence about using Debt.ca to help you with paying off your debt, here are some of its advantages:

  • Easy, secure online application with quick referrals. After filling out the application form online, your debts will be assessed and you’ll hear from a local debt specialist or credit counsellor on the same day.
  • Helps you understand your debt relief options. If you’re drowning in debt and you don’t know how to get started on fixing your financial problems, Debt.ca can help you build an understanding of your debt relief options so you can choose the right route for you.
  • Debt relief provided with bad credit or no credit. If you didn’t qualify for a personal loan to consolidate your debts, Debt.ca has a handful of other options to help you settle your debts, including consumer proposals, debt management programs and debt settlement.
  • Helps you negotiate with your lenders. While Debt.ca doesn’t provide debt relief services directly, its partners specialize in brokering debt settlement plans, negotiating lower interest rates and building customized debt repayment plans that fit your budget. Debt.ca says these debt relief options often get you out of the red within two to four years.
  • Lower monthly payments and lower interest rates. Regardless of which debt relief option you take from debt consolidation loans to a debt settlement, your contact will help you negotiate lower interest rates and lower monthly payments to help you better manage your debt repayments.
  • No fees. Debt.ca‘s application process is completely free to use and you are under no obligation to accept any of the debt relief options that you receive. Its online resources, from calculators to information on your debt relief options, are free too.

What to watch out for

The following are some drawbacks to take into account if you’re thinking of using Debt.ca:

  • Unsecured debts only. Secured debts cannot be settled via Debt.ca. Secured debts include student loans, mortgages, HELOCs, tax or government debt, vehicle loans, home loans and lawsuits.
  • Hurts your credit rating. If you opt for a debt settlement, a debt management program via a credit counselling agency, a consumer proposal or bankruptcy, your credit score will take a hit. However, keep in mind that if you keep defaulting on your loan, your credit score will also take a beating.
  • Potential for additional fees. While Debt.ca doesn’t charge any fees for its application process and referrals, you may encounter additional fees and extra costs as you go through the debt relief process with your debt specialist or credit counsellor, depending on which organization and option you go with.
  • Only some debt specialists showcased. Debt.ca has a number of local organizations it works with in each region, so you’ll only get quotes from a segment of specialists. This could lead you to miss out on other options, so it’s worth seeking out a few options before deciding on how you want to proceed with clearing your debts.

How to apply with Debt.ca

Debt.ca isn’t a direct lender. After you plug in your details, it will connect you with a local debt relief specialist or credit counsellor.

Here’s a step-by-step guide if you want to apply:

  1. Go to the Debt.ca homepage and click on either the “Get Started” or “Start Now” buttons.
  2. Use the slider to indicate how much debt you owe from $1,000 up to $100,000.
  3. Pick a button to choose which category your credit rating falls under, ranging from Excellent to Poor.
  4. Indicate whether you are a homeowner or not.
  5. Enter your postal code to help Debt.ca identify debt relief specialists that are in your neighbourhood.
  6. Enter your personal details, including your full name, your debt amount, your phone number and your email address.
  7. Once you submit an application, Debt.ca will email you with your savings estimate and your debt relief options. It will also forward your information to local debt specialists who will contact you within one business day to discuss your options.
  8. You can also connect with a Debt.ca expert via email, phone or live chat on its Contact Us page.

How much will it cost me to use Debt.ca?

Using Debt.ca is completely free. You won’t pay any fees for applying and you are under no obligation to accept any of the debt relief options that you receive. You may encounter fees as you go through the debt relief process with your debt specialist or credit counsellor, depending on what debt relief option you go with. Make sure you clarify with them what charges you may incur before proceeding.

Is Debt.ca legit?

It is. It has a head office in Vancouver and provides live support via chat and over the phone. It says it has helped consumers manage over $2.1 billion of debt by connecting them with local debt relief specialists and credit counselling agencies.

Debt.ca is at least six years old and is active on social media with YouTube, Facebook and Twitter accounts. It also has an active blog with a network of contributors that include prominent Canadian personal finance experts and financial journalists.

Bottom line

If you’re struggling with debt, you’re not alone: the average Canadian consumer has $23,800 of non-mortgage debt, according to credit rating agency Equifax. This includes debt from credit cards, loans and lines of credit.

Figuring out how to get out of debt can seem like a daunting task. This is where Debt.ca attempts to help. It’s a great resource whether you’re using the site to calculate your debts and get familiar with common debt relief options or you want to apply to connect with a debt counsellor in your area.

Whether you’re leaning towards a debt settlement, credit counselling or debt consolidation loan, do your research on each option to understand their individual benefits and drawbacks. Ultimately, Debt.ca is a great resource to take the first step in your journey to being debt-free, but you’ll make the final decision on which route you want to take.

Frequently asked questions

Go to site