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This is war! I want you for Debt Boot Camp!

Laurie Campbell

Listen up civilians, I’ve got news to help the financially troubled amongst you. If serious debt problems are keeping you up as you try to bunk down each night, you might consider a new way to sleep soundly and rise happily each day with – so to speak – shoes nicely polished, laces neatly tied, and shirts well tucked in.

Welcome to Debt Boot Camp, a new program from my agency Credit Canada Debt Solutions. Launching this week, the program is at once a whimsical and an earnest way to promote our existing services as the best training possible for lasting freedom from debt. It’s also a declaration of war on rampaging personal debt across our beloved land.

“Through Debt Boot Camp, recruits can become battle-worthy personal money managers.”

Debt Boot Camp puts what we offer into the fanciful framework of an army training camp for serious recruits. It highlights a regimented financial action plan for individuals and families who are determined to rise above debt. Obstacle courses in the training may at first seem daunting. But they are eased through the expert guidance of Credit Canada’s phalanx of ‘drill sergeants’ – also known as certified credit counsellors. Through Debt Boot Camp exercises and drills, recruits can become happy, battle-worthy personal money managers often in relatively little time.

Duty call for Debt Boot Camp recruits primarily involves discipline through what is termed a Debt Management Program (DMP), which consolidates all debts into a single monthly payment that is affordable. The program comes with training exercises in goal setting, monthly budgeting, short-to-long-term financial planning, and – very importantly – developing positive attitudes towards money. Real effort and willpower are needed to overcome problem debt. Sweat comes with getting over the hump and rules need to be strictly followed. But while our ‘drill sergeants’ can be stern taskmasters, they are also empathetic and non-judgmental.

“In the vast majority of cases, financial literacy skills gained through the program last a lifetime.”

In the end, Debt Boot Camp graduates stand to come away as lean, mean financial fighting machines free of problem debt and its demoralizing effects. Medals for valour come in the form of solid credit bureau ratings. In the vast majority of cases, financial literacy skills gained through the program last a lifetime. This we know from the many thousands of Canadians Credit Canada has helped since we built what might be called our original Toronto-based garrison in 1966.

To promote Debt Boot Camp, we’re moving forward in stages with a multi-tiered digital marketing campaign including online advertising, a dedicated web landing page, motivational emails with subscription services, as well as online social network initiatives augmented by other undertakings such as interactive quizzes and special postings.

“To all Canadians who are under siege because of what they owe, I say come join Debt Boot Camp.”

Through Debt Boot Camp we’re also doing something else at Credit Canada. As I say, we’re making preparations for a national war on personal debt. The truth is, we live at a time when a growing number of wage-earning Canadians are either AWOL in terms of paying down debt or soon could be given ongoing uncertainties surrounding the economy.

Just remember, consumer debt has reached $1.5 trillion in Canada, with household debt-to-income ratios continuing to set record highs. Currently, for every dollar that individuals make, they owe a dollar sixty-three. That reflects about the same ratio in the United States when the 2008 crash hit. At the same time, we’re looking at what many agree is a big bubble in the real estate market and rampant spending that disregards savings - all this in an environment where almost a third of Canadians are living paycheque to paycheque.

So, to all Canadians who are under siege because of what they owe, I say come join Debt Boot Camp and the war on personal debt. Or look at it this way – give peace-of-mind a chance.


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