In The Globe and Mail, Toronto, published May 8, 2015, Janet McFarland reported on an interview with Credit Canada CEO Laurie Campbell. To quote her article, “Ms. Campbell says it is a myth that highly indebted people are poor and uneducated. Many of her firm’s clients are educated and articulate professionals who are simply bad at managing their money. But the clients who stick in her memory are the ones with sad stories about losing their jobs at an older age and not being able to land new ones, or who have suffered personal tragedies like the death of a child that left them shattered and unable to continue working.
“It taught her everyone is potentially vulnerable – including herself.”
Tabor’s financial counselors know all too well the many different roads that lead a person or family to seek their assistance: death in the family, unemployment, reduced income, failed business, substance abuse, personal domestic conflict are just some or the reasons people need help. Taking the causes reported over the last three years, excessive spending and poor money management together made up about 30% of reported causes. Medical or disability issues made up more than 15%. Unemployment, underemployment and reduced income combined made up 28% of reported causes.
But the numbers do not show the relief that is felt when a client understands that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The relief of seeing how they can make their money go further or when they make their last payment to their debt management plan.
Tabor staff realize that anyone could be in the shoes of one of their clients if a few mishaps snowballed or hit at the wrong time. But Tabor also realizes that there are tools to help prepare for financial pitfalls. That is why Tabor has offered and will continue to offer free community financial workshops that teach the basics of banking, using credit, saving and other subjects that pertain to managing finances.
In addition to counseling people with credit card debt, Tabor offers counseling to anyone looking to assess and improve their financial health. A counselor will meet the person or family and show them how to make the most of what they have and help them create a step-by-step path to achieving their own financial goals. Tabor encourages people to use this resource before they get into financial trouble.