COVID-19, the very word inflicts a sea of emotions and thoughts in our minds, the impact of the COVID pandemic has affected each of us in different ways, especially when factoring in CERB. We now share a commonality on a range of topics, and for others we are worlds apart. But one commonality through out this pandemic has been the financial impact COVID has had.
Governments across the world have scrambled to deal with this unknown enemy. Income supports, small business supports, you name it, governments tried to support their citizens as best they could. Our very own federal government announced CERB and CEWS to support individuals and businesses, and banks offered deferred mortgage, and credit payments. There was a scramble to provide, understand and receive these taxable and non-taxable financial supports during this unprecedented time.
In the whirlwind of information that was being thrown at us, did we forget to ask ourselves some important questions? Or was out of sight, out of mind the easier way to deal with some hard realities of COVID’s impact on us financially? Were we aware that the CRA has not deducted any income tax from CERB payments? Did we plan and put some funds aside for taxes? Have we planned ahead for this potential tax bill? The hardest question, I believe, we must ask ourselves are we in a better or worse financial position after these supports and deferrals end? Did CERB only put a band-aid on a situation that required stitches? These are all fundamental questions that we must ask.
If these supports kept us barely afloat, how long until we start drowning? How long before making minimum payments turns into a decision between buying groceries and making that payment? As harsh as these questions sound, they are a reality we cannot run from. So, what is the answer then? How do we rip off the band-aid?
A quick Google search of “Debt Relief” or “Debt Consolidation” will return hundreds of names of companies who are in the “business” of debt relief or consolidation. But how do you know who is Licensed and qualified to assist you? One way is to search or speak to a Licensed Insolvency Trustee. These individuals are Federally licensed and regulated to assist with your financial situation and provide you the best option for your situation. Additionally, you can search for Licensed Insolvency Trustee’s on the Office of Superintendent of Bankruptcy (OSB) website as well as have access to some great resources and other supports.
Walt Disney once said, “you may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you”, COVID was that kick in the teeth which enabled us to revaluate many things in our lives. In the end, we will all walk away from the impacts of COVID one way or another. While there is a lot of information out there, do your homework on those you choose to help you. It may currently seem like an endless tunnel with no light in sight but know there is always light. Remember, asking for help is a show of strength, it is a great example of how to take care of yourself.