Speak to a Credit Counsellor
Credit counsellors are financial crisis first-responders. They are the first to know what creditors are doing to help their clients who can’t make payments due to COVID-19 and what resources the government is making available to those who need it most. Therefore, they can provide you with the most up-to-date information regarding creditors and government programs.
Credit Canada offers free over-the-phone counselling 1-800-267-2272
Reduced income requires your utmost caution and skill in managing your money. There are community resources to help you, but first you must plan ahead.
Set up a realistic budget plan allowing for basic needs: food, shelter, utilities and medical care.
Prioritize your bills. When you do not have enough money to pay all the bills, pay these first: rent or mortgage, utilities, food and transportation.
Before your bills become due, notify your creditors, lenders and/or landlord that you are unemployed and cannot meet your payments. Explain your situation truthfully and ask for a written payment plan or discuss other ways to pay off your obligations.
Maintain accurate files. Before mailing your letters, make copies to keep for your files. If you must negotiate over the phone, keep detailed notes including the representative’s name, title, and phone number. Follow up any phone conversations in writing.
Stay organized. Keep everything in one place. Write a summary list of your financial plan for quick reference.
Keep your end of the bargain. If you are unable to make agreed upon payments, contact your creditors immediately to renegotiate.
*Avoid making unnecessary purchases on credit. Get budget counseling if you are having difficulty.
For more information see: https://www.canada.ca/en/financial-consumer-agency/services/covid-19-managing-financial-health.html#toc2.
Know your rights when dealing with creditors and collection agencies.
If you need help with a consumer problem contact
Consumer Protection Ontario
Phone: (416) 326-8800
Toll-free: (800) 889-9768
If you need legal representation to assist with a landlord, merchant, neighbor or family member, you can call:
Legal Aid Ontario
Phone: 1-(800) 668-8258
8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Legal Aid Ontario has community legal clinics. For one in your area, see: