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Are there free Canadian government grants to pay off debt?

Learn more about free resources you can access to help pay off your debt and learn about your financing options.

In a time of rising inflation, it can be difficult to pay off your debt on top of managing your regular expenses. Sadly, there are no free Canadian government grants to pay off debt unless you own a business. However, you might be able to get a better handle on your debt with some of the credit counselling companies and financial strategies listed below.

Are there free Canadian government grants to pay off debt?

Finding free Canadian government grants to pay off debt isn’t possible for personal debt unless you qualified for COVID-19 funding. This exceptional funding may be issued on a federal or provincial basis and you’ll need to meet eligibility requirements to qualify. In most cases, free Canadian government grants to pay off debt are reserved for businesses.

Free resources to help you pay off debt

You may be able to access the following services to manage your finances instead of searching for free Canadian government grants to pay off debt:

Credit Counselling Canada

Credit Counselling Canada

  • What is it? Credit Counselling Canada is an umbrella agency that provides accreditation for non-profit credit counselling agencies.
  • How can it help? Member organizations (several listed below) can help you explore your debt management options by laying out your choices and providing pros and cons for each. It can also help with financial literacy and budgeting.
  • Where is it available? Available across Canada with member organizations in most big cities. Consult a detailed list of provinces and cities where Credit Counselling Canada is available.

Credit Canada

Credit Canada

  • What is it? Credit Canada is a non-profit credit counselling agency that’s accredited by Credit Counselling Canada. It offers debt management and consolidation services to clients struggling with their finances.
  • How can it help? Access the service if you need help managing your money, paying off debt or improving your credit rating. You can also participate in debt assessments, educational seminars, budgeting and goal setting.
  • Where is it available? Operates primarily in Ontario, but has a few locations in Alberta and BC as well. Find out which cities Credit Canada works in here.

CreditCanada

Credit Counselling Society

  • What is it? Credit Counselling Society is a non-profit credit counselling and debt management agency that works across several regions in Canada. It is accredited by Credit Counselling Canada.
  • How can it help? Get expert advice on how to manage, consolidate or settle your debt. This agency also helps with referrals for bankruptcies and consumer proposals, along with dealing with debt collection agencies.
  • Where is it available? Visit an office in person in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario. Access phone service only in Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

Money Mentors

Money Mentors

  • What is it? Money Mentors is an Alberta-based, non-profit debt relief and financial education company. Its credit counsellors offer in-person and online support, along with delivering special financial literacy programs for schools and workplaces.
  • How can it help? Consolidate your debts or get set up with an Orderly Payment of Debts (OPD) program to get lower interest rates. You can also access credit counselling, financial education, budgeting tools and other financial resources.
  • Where is it available? Available in Alberta – specifically in large cities such as Calgary, Edmonton, Grande Prairie, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat and Red Deer.

Solve your debts

Solve Your Debts

  • What is it? Solve Your Debts is a non-profit credit counselling and debt management company that works in the Eastern provinces, including Quebec. It is also accredited by Credit Counselling Canada.
  • How can it help? Use the agency’s services to learn more about your options and create a customized plan to deal with your debt. You can also get trusted referrals to partner organizations for bankruptcy or consumer proposal proceedings.
  • Where is it available? Visit an office in Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, PEI or Quebec.

4 other ways to pay off your debt

Think about the following financial solutions instead of trying to find free Canadian government grants to pay off debt:

1. Debt consolidation loan

Debt consolidation loans let you take out an overarching loan to pay off all your other debts. You’ll usually get a lower interest rate and a longer term, which means you get lower monthly payments and can pay more towards your principal.

ProsCons
  • Usually lower interest rates
  • Reduces monthly payments
  • One loan payment to track
  • Loans may come with fees
  • Rates may go up with bad credit
  • Can take longer to repay

2. Debt relief company

Debt relief companies are usually for-profit companies that help you settle your debt for less than what you truly owe. These companies negotiate on your behalf with your creditors to get them to reduce how much you owe in exchange for guaranteed payment.

ProsCons
  • Reduces your debt
  • Saves you money in the long term
  • Creditors may ease off
  • Can be expensive
  • May damage your credit
  • Creditors might not cooperate

3. Consumer proposal

Consumer proposals are formal and legally binding repayment agreements administered by a Licensed Insolvency Trustee (LIT). You develop a proposal which gets submitted to your creditors, who then vote to accept or reject your proposed repayment plan.

ProsCons
  • Reduces your debt or extends your payment period
  • Repay the LIT instead of the creditors
  • Creditors must ease off
  • Costs around $1,500
  • Can be rejected
  • Proposal annulled with 3 missed payments
  • Debts over $250,000 not eligible (excluding mortgage)

4. Balance transfer credit card

Transfer your debts from several credit cards onto a single card with a promotional balance transfer rate (usually 0% interest in your first 3–12 months, depending on the card). After that time elapses, you’ll pay a normal interest rate.

ProsCons
  • Low interest if you qualify
  • One easy payment
  • May come with a fee of 3–5%
  • You may need excellent credit to qualify for promotional 0% rate

Guide to balance transfer cards

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