Credit and Debt in BC

  • Recorded on: May 30, 2023

  • Length: 60 minutes


Whether you feel confident about your finances or struggle to make payments, there’s always more to learn about managing your credit and debt. Mark Kalinowski, financial educator with the Credit Counselling Society, answers common questions about credit reports and credit scores, building up your credit, dealing with debt collectors, getting out from under debt, and more.


In this webinar, you will learn:

About credit

  • What credit is and why it matters. [5:50]

  • The difference between a credit report and a credit score. [8:05]

  • How you and others can access your credit report. [10:35]

  • How to build credit if you have no credit history. [12:45]

  • How to improve your credit, and how long bad information will stay on your credit report. [15:10]

  • Whether getting a payday loan can help you build credit. [19:05]

About dealing with debt

  • Whether to consolidate your debts and where to start. [20:10]

  • What “creditor protected” means and whether it includes income and assets. [23:00]

  • How to get out of a payday loan cycle. [25:55]

  • What a consumer proposal is. [28:20]

  • What a debt settlement program is and whether it’s right for you. [30:20]

  • What happens if you go bankrupt, including what happens to your stuff, how long protection lasts and whether you will get your credit back. [32:50]

About debt collection

  • What to say if you get calls from a collection agency, and whether they can call your employer. [36:25]

  • Whether the bank is allowed to take all the money out of your account to pay off your credit card debt. [38:20]

  • What to do if a lender takes your car. [39:40]

  • What happens if you get sued by a creditor, including whether you would need to go to court or could be sent to jail. [41:05]

  • Whether the court can give your creditors your stuff and how long a judgment stays in effect. [44:00]

  • What the CRA can do if you owe tax debt. [45:00]

  • What resources are available to help you deal with your debts and creditors. [46:10]

Live questions

  • How to challenge a false record on your credit report. [47:25]

  • What factors impact your credit score. [49:10]

  • Which websites are best for obtaining your credit report. [51:35]

  • Whether you’re obligated to pay when a courier periodically drops off parcels and then a month or so later sends a bill for them. [51:20]

  • Whether using a credit card or line of credit is better to build your credit score. [53:45]

  • The benefits and risks of a reverse mortgage, also called a Canadian Home Income Plan or CHIP. [55:10]


Mark Kalinowski

Mark Kalinowski

Mark is a financial educator with the Credit Counselling Society with previous experience helping individuals solve their money problems as an accredited credit counsellor. Mark has also worked with banks and has completed various financial courses including the Life Licensing Exam, Insolvency Counsellor Qualifying Course, Canadian Securities, and Investment Funds in Canada Course.

Attendee feedback

“EXCELLENT webinar; Mark is an engaging and excellent speaker.”

“Will share this with my two young adult grandchildren. I wonder if this info is taught in high school.”

“I appreciate the advice to pay credit card debt at least three days before it is due since I have a credit card at one bank and my bank account at another.”

“The speakers were very well prepared and well versed on the topics.“

“What an excellent webinar! Excellent speaker and good job to all of you for putting it together. So informative! Keep up the good work.”

"I am so appreciative of the webinars you do, as they are all relevant topics and I always leave with lots of new information and fresh understanding."

Additional resources

From People’s Law School, on credit reports and credit scores:

From People’s Law School, on dealing with debt:

From Credit Counselling Society:

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