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Money Some Canadians would sell an organ to get rid of debt, survey shows

16:36  13 march  2018
16:36  13 march  2018 Source:   globalnews.ca

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Haunted by debt , some Canadians say they’d consider selling an organ if it made their liabilities disappear, according to a troubling new poll by financial services firm MNP, which runs Canada ’s largest insolvency practice.

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Haunted by debt, some Canadians say they'd consider selling an organ if it made their liabilities disappear, according to a troubling new poll by financial services firm MNP, which runs Canada's largest insolvency practice.

READ MORE: Canadian consumer debt just keeps growing — but here’s why it’s not a problem yet

Five per cent of some 2,000 survey respondents said they'd be ready to part ways with a non-essential body part if it served to eliminate their debt, according to research conducted by Ipsos on behalf of MNP in December 2017.

READ MORE: 6 simple steps to get out of credit card debt

The share of Canadians who would go to such extremes may be small, but the report highlighted another troubling trend. Respondents appeared far more willing to give up restaurants and vacations and log enormous amounts of overtime than to seek professional help for their debt woes. Some 21 per cent even said they'd give up on their right to vote for eight years. By comparison, only 18 per cent said they would turn to a licensed insolvency trustee.

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Debtors are more willing to give up restaurants, vacations and the right to vote than to seek professional help over debt woes, the same poll shows .Haunted by debt , some Canadians say they'd consider selling an organ if it made their liabilities disappear

READ MORE: Some Canadians would sell an organ to get rid of debt , survey shows . The result is just one of a number of findings showing that Canadians ’ The poll, released on Monday, showed 51 per cent of respondents said they fear the rising interest rates could affect their ability to pay down debt .

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The results speak to Canadians' reluctance to see a trustee, said David Gowling, a licenced insolvency trustee at MNP.

When it comes to debt, waiting too long to seek help is a bit like trying to self-medicate at home when you really should be seeing a doctor, said Gowling. Procrastinating often means bills and interest charges will accumulate to a point when they're no longer manageable. And just like a health issue, something that may have easily treated early on ends up requiring drastic means, if you let it degenerate.

READ MORE: 6 budget tips from an author who paid off almost $30K of debt in two years

In the world of licensed insolvency trustees, the last resort is helping a client file for bankruptcy. But Gowling would like to see more people come in before it comes to that.

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Debtors are more willing to give up restaurants, vacations and the right to vote than to seek professional help over debt woes, the same poll shows .

Now a new survey shows the lengths to which student debt holders would go to discharge their burdens. A poll of 200 users of the personal finance information website MyBankTracker found that 30% of respondents would be willing to sell an organ if it meant getting out of debt .

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  Some Canadians would sell an organ to get rid of debt, survey shows © Provided by Corus Media Holdings, Inc.

How much does $1,000 in credit card debt cost if you only make minimum payments?

Signs that you need professional help with your debt

There are two common – and often ignored – signs that you need to see the debt equivalent of a doctor, Gowling said.

READ MORE: Money123 newsletter will tackle some of your biggest money questions

The first is getting to the point where you can only afford to make the minimum payment on your credit card debt. Many Canadians delude themselves in thinking that they're OK as long as they can keep up with the small amounts that credit card companies demand of them every month, Gowling said. But minimum payments make only a tiny dent in the principal, stretching out debt repayment over decades for most people – and that's assuming they aren't accumulating new liabilities in the meantime.

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Would you sell an organ ? What about selling half of your possessions -- would you do that? "I don’t think they’re making drastic decisions or would take drastic measures – but what it does tell me is that they’d rather get rid of their debt quicker than adapting to it over time and making it part of your day

Looking to clear up your debt for good? Well, in a new study from financial services firm MNP. It turns out a chunk of Canadians would be willing to SELL AN ORGAN to do so. While a big portion of those surveyed chose to take a more practical approach: Seeking financial help.

READ MORE: Here’s what happens to $1K in credit card debt when you make only minimum payments

The second sign that you need help is "using one kind of debt to pay another," Gowling said. That means, for example, tapping your line of credit to keep up with your credit card bills.

There's nothing wrong with consolidating expensive debt into a lower interest loan, which can be an effective strategy to regain control of your finances, Gowling said. But if you're simply drawing from one source of credit to pay off another with no progress in reducing your overall debt load, it's time to see someone, he added.

Watch: Got credit card debt? Making only minimum payments is a slippery slope

Bankruptcy isn't the only option

If you tackle your debt problem in time, bankruptcy won't be the only option, Gowling said.

If you're able to pay at least some of the principal, you can opt for a consumer proposal, he noted. And if all you need is a little extra time and to freeze your interest rate, a licenced insolvency trustee will refer you to a non-profit credit counsellor, who will negotiate those conditions with your creditors through a debt management plan at little or no cost.

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Some Canadians would sell an organ to get rid of debt , survey shows . vacations and the right to vote than to seek professional help over debt woes, the same poll shows .Haunted by debt , some Canadians say they'd consider selling an organ if it made their liabilities disappear, according to a

According to a recent survey , some would go as far as selling a vital organ or joining a medical study for complete relief from debt . “I don’t think they’re making drastic decisions or would take drastic measures – but what it does tell me is that they’d rather get rid of their debt quicker than adapting to

Still, Gowling says many Canadians resolve to see a trustee only when their wages are being garnished or creditors have started court action to recoup what they're owed. At that stage, he told Global News, "you're very low on options."

WATCH: Here’s how to get out of credit card debt

Don't worry about your credit score

People often put off seeking help because they don't want to damage their credit score, said Gowling.

But while a high score may make you feel good, if you're barely keeping up with your bills, it's a picture that doesn't reflect reality, he noted. Eventually, you'll start getting calls from collection agencies, and the score will catch up.

READ MORE: 3 things you probably didn't know about your credit score

Besides, "a high score is only good for getting more credit, which at this point has fallen down the list of priorities," Gowling said.

And while any solution that involves freezing or reducing your debt will damage your score, it won't tarnish it forever.

People can rebuild a positive credit history relatively quickly, especially if they keep making car loan or mortgage payments while they are restructuring their other debt, Gowling said.

Even after a bankruptcy, he said, "I've seen people get back to a good place."

A new survey reveals Canadians would be willing to go to troubling extremes in order to eliminate their debt..© Getty Images A new survey reveals Canadians would be willing to go to troubling extremes in order to eliminate their debt..

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