Rebuilding Credit After Abuse

Welcome to Right-On with HFG Happy Families Support Network Inc. (HFG)

HFG is a not-for-profit support group that provides ongoing support to women and children who have experienced abuse

HFG is a free support group for women and children who have experienced abuse, run by women who have experienced abuse

The topic for today is – Rebuilding Your Credit After Abuse

What does it mean to ‘rebuild’?

1. To build again.

2. To make extensive structural repairs.

3. To remodel or make extensive changes

So to rebuild our credit after abuse, we need to make extensive structural changes or repairs to return our credit to what it was or better

How do you go about rebuilding credit? I spoke to 2 of the 5 big banks to prepare for this post and they both gave similar information

Let’s walk through the process together:

Take care of debts. You need to know what your debts are so that you can make payments or payment arrangements

Check your credit, you are allowed 1 free credit report per year

Equifax http://www.equifax.com/ecm/canada/EFXCreditReportRequestForm.pdf

TransUnion http://www.transunion.ca/docs/personal/Consumer_Disclosure_Request_Form_en.pdf  http://www.transunion.ca/ca/personal/creditreport/consumerdisclosure/byphone_en.page

Call contact numbers on credit report to make payment and/or payment arrangement for debts in collections

If debt is in your name it’s your responsibility, joint debts are both your responsibilities

Either party on a joint account can close the account. As long as there is no outstanding over draft

Contact Equifax http://www.consumer.equifax.ca/dispute-ca/dispute_process/en_ca and TransUnion http://www.transunion.ca/ca/personal/creditdisputes/phone_en.page to correct inaccuracies and update your credit report once you’ve been discharged from bankruptcy

Call a licenced bankruptcy trustee to discuss your options if personal bankruptcy or consumer proposal are choices you’d like to make

Re-establish credit during the 6 – 7 year period after discharge by getting a secured credit card

The major banks will not give you a secured credit card if you’ve filed for bankruptcy or consumer proposal

To get a secured credit card apply to – Capital One, Home Trust Visa or Citi Financial

Use your secured credit card for one or two small, planned purchases each month, wait for the bill to arrive then pay it in full and on time

Consumer proposal does not help to rebuild credit. You must get secured credit card to help with rebuilding credit

For a secured credit card you give the credit card company a deposit and they give you a credit card with a limit equal to your deposit

The secured card is reported to credit reporting agencies so pay your balances in full every month and your credit score will improve gradually

Pay your bills on time. To make sure this happens, pay bills as you receive them don’t put them aside to wait for the due dates

Stick to your monthly budget, avoid overdraft, NSF and late charges and try to not get into further debt

Avoid using payday loans to make ends meet. They won’t help improve your credit rating and will put you on an endless cycle of loans

If you find that your pay cheque isn’t enough to make it to the end of the month, consider other options to help cut financial costs

A few helpful options that cut monthly financial costs. Try them for a week and put what you would normally spend in a savings jar

  1. Food bank to help with cost of food
  2. Use free Wi-Fi at your local coffee shop or mall
  3. Make your meals from scratch
  4. Plan your meals for the week and only buy what you need to make those meals this helps to reduce waste
  5. Save on TTC fare and get exercise at the same time by walking to places that are not far away
  6. Take a lunch, snack and your own coffee or tea to work
  7. Bake your own treats

After trying these cost cutting options for 1 week, email us at right-on@hfgfamilies.com to let us know if you saved

Thanks for joining Right-On with HFG. We look forward to seeing you next Wednesday 10 for our weekly Right-On conversation

The topic for next week is – Rebuilding Self Confidence After Abuse

Please email your questions and comments to right-on@hfgfamilies.com

If you would like more information on the HFG support group please email info@hfgfamilies.com

Have a great day! HFG Hugs!!

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