Are you in Nunavut, steeped in debt and have no way to pay it back? Your only option is not bankruptcy. There are plenty of options left for residents of Nunavut to settle existing debt without going bankrupt.
First of all, be aware that your debt troubles are not going to disappear overnight. Debt can be extremely stressful. However, you will have to put up with that stress for a couple of years. Debt can only be reduced gradually before finally being eliminated.
However, if you are neck-deep in debt, it may seem impossible to repay everything gradually. If what you currently owe far exceeds what you currently earn, you will need help to ease you debt woes. Without making a drastic decision regarding your debt, seek help.
Professional credit and debt counselling services offer legal and advisory help to debtors on the brink of bankruptcy. Debt counselling services are more prominent in cities like Toronto and Vancouver. However, these services have become so ubiquitous, even residents in Nunavut now have access.
So, here are several ways you can seek credit and debt counselling services in Nunavut:
Contact the Nunavut Office of Consumer Affairs (OCA)
The OCA in Nunavut is the best place to obtain unbiased advice regarding your debt. The office currently does not have any official debt counselling services. However, you can always call and ask for help. The OCA will be more than happy to direct your request to the right person or agency. You can also go to the OCA website to learn about how to solve your debt. More importantly, OCA can tell you how to submit a consumer proposal to settle your debt.
A consumer proposal is a request the debtor puts forth to a creditor via a trustee to renegotiate the terms of the debt. If you are honestly unable to pay back what’s owed, you can use a consumer proposal to negotiate with the creditor to reduce the amount you owe. If the creditor or creditors agree to your proposal, it becomes legally binding. You can submit a consumer proposal through the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy. The OCA in Nunavut might be able to help as well.
Seek a Private Debt Counselling Service or an Agent
There are private debt counselling agencies operating in Nunavut that can help you pay back your loan in return for a fee. You won’t have to pay the fee right away. It will be added to your overall payment schedule. Credit Counselling Society Nunavut, Credit Card Consolidation Iqaluit, and Yellowknife Credit Counselling and Credit Counsellors are some examples of private companies offering debt counselling services. You will be able to find more by going through the local yellow pages.
The government of Canada has warned consumers against predatory debt counselling services. Not all such services offer genuine advice. Some are only there to charge hefty fees that only increase your debt. Therefore, make sure you only seek services from a reputed agency. Don’t fall for agents who claim to reduce your debt by 60 percent or more instantly.
Call the National Student Loans Service Centre for Student Loan Debt
If you are unable to pay back your student loans, directly call the NSLSC. NSLSC might be able to renegotiate the terms of your loan or extend the grace period.
If you are facing a personal financial crisis in Nunavut, consider the above options before declaring bankruptcy.
New businesses in Nunavut have different financing options available and even start-ups with bad credit and limited credit exposure qualify under some programs.
The Small Business Support Program is the first stop for start-up businesses in Nunavut. Under the Small Business Opportunities Fund, the goal is to offer support and assistance to pilot projects, expansions, and business start-ups. The Entrepreneur Development Fund also assists start-ups and provides training in risk management, tourism safety, business start-up, bookkeeping, and accounting. Under the Small Business Support Program, start-ups are offered services and advisory such as investment placement, bid security, loan guarantees, and loans. These services are available in Baffin, Kivalliq, and Kitikmeot and are offered through business development centre offices.
Another option is to check with private lenders in Nunavut to see whether you qualify for business financing. Check with major and local banks to find more about their requirements. If you have some asset to pledge as a guarantee, you have better chances for getting approved. This can be anything of value, for example, machinery and equipment, inventory, accounts receivable, business inventory, deposits in bank and savings accounts, cash savings, and anything else. Secured business loans are available from banks, credit unions, and other establishments. There are other funding sources to look into if you have tarnished credit, including peer to peer lending networks and angel investors. Peer to peer lenders offer business and personal loans at competitive interest rates. There are no hidden fees. While the terms and loan amounts vary by lender, the repayment term is usually up to 5 years. The interest rate also varies from 5.9 to 20 percent depending on credit rating. Customers with average and bad credit scores are offered interest rates in the low 20s because they are risky borrowers. Another option is to contact angel investors to check their terms. Also known as angel funders and informal investors, they offer start-up capital to new businesses in exchange for a percentage of the ownership equity. Anger investors are usually entrepreneurs with free capital to invest and usually require a significant percentage in exchange for funding. Finally, you can use a low-interest business credit card with a high limit to cover some of the start-up expenses.
Many are unsure what to do in case of injury at work and get panicked. It may be the case that workers are discouraged by senior managers from reporting work-related accidents but the good news is that there are things to do if you get injured.
What to Do in Case of a Work-Related Injury
All accidents must be promptly reported under section 35 of the Safety Regulations, including accidents and injuries of serious nature occurring at work. Such accidents must be reported to the chief safety officer. Employees are required to report to their manager all accidents that occur due to chemical releases, explosions and fires, and illnesses that are caused by work. Illnesses and injuries must be reported as well if they result in death, permanent disabilities or physical damages, restrictions in performing duties, and time off work. Obviously, the next step is to check with your insurance company. Look at your policy to see what it covers. The workers compensation insurance covers work-related injuries so that companies avoid lengthy and costly lawsuits. Many insurers also offer policies such as accidental death and dismemberment, which are designed for employees, regardless of their location. If the policy does not cover all expenses, then there are several sources of funding to pay medical and hospital expenses and additional costs. One option is to visit your local bank and ask about their loan programs (terms, payment schedules, interest and penalty charges, etc.). Credit unions offer attractive terms and affordable rates to their members, and the rates are usually lower compared to other financial institutions. Finally, credit cards are one way to cover medical expenses if you just need a small amount over a short period.
Accident Prevention Program
The ultimate goal is to help prevent injuries and accidents due to hazards and must be in compliance with federal regulations. Standards serve as guidance on employee education, preventive measures, hazard assessment and identification, and effective implementation plans. The Department of Public Work has published an accident prevention manual under the Public Works and Services Safety Program to help employers secure a healthy and safe working environment for all employees. To prevent injuries in the first place, employees must wear protective gear and equipment such as face masks, gloves, hard hats, steel-toed boots, etc. All fire doors must be kept closed, and designated emergency exits should be easy to find and use. Employees must promptly report all work-related injuries and accidents to their supervisors, and it is also important to report unsafe conditions, acts, and activities to help improve work safety. There are general rules for road safety as well. The winter travel vehicle checklist, for example, includes items such as brakes, heaters, exhaust systems, flashing hazard lights, windshield washer fluid and wipers, antifreeze and battery, etc. Rules and guidelines for office safety are also in place, and employees are required to offer training in office ergonomics, electrical safety, and emergency procedures.
Workers’ rights are protected under different regulations in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut with the goal of setting employment and safety standards with regards to standard hours of work, continuity of employment, exemptions, safety in the workplace, compensation, and more.
Safety in the Workplace
In the Northwest Territories, employers are responsible for workplace safety and occupational health. Employees who suffer injuries should be transported to the nearest medical centre or hospital for treatment. They have to submit a completed Worker’s Report of Injury form while employers are required to complete an accurate and detailed account of the accident. In Nunavut, a number of codes and acts set standards of safety and occupational health, including the General Safety Regulations, Code of Practice on Hazard Assessment, Code of Practice on Asbestos Abatement, and others. The Consolidation of Safety Act sets standards on posting notice of danger, imminent danger, work in case of unusual danger, duty to assist safety officers, and so on.
Protecting from Injuries
If you are a resident of Nunavut or the Northwest Territories and a federal employee, you have the right to request investigation and are entitled to compensation for work-related injuries. In addition, there are safety and health procedures set in place to help protect workers from injuries and accidents as well as health and safety programs that detail the responsibilities and roles of employees and employers. Employees and workers have the right to refuse, participate, and know while employers must comply with relevant acts and regulations as well as directions by appeals and safety officers. It is essential to develop and implement safety and hazards procedures to minimize the risk of work-related injuries and accidents.
Employees are entitled to compensation for illnesses, accidents, and injuries at the workplace. Payments help cover physical disabilities, auxiliary care, clothing, medical equipment, training, and other expenses. Compensation covers payments for physiotherapy, medical treatments, prescription drugs, and lost income. Workers who are entitled to receive compensation are required to provide information such as type and amount of payments, weekly and daily amounts, and end and start date.