April 05, 2012 | By: Laurie Campbell

Greedy for a heartfelt thank you.

I have a confession to make on behalf of all of us here at Credit Canada Debt Solutions. We are a selfish, greedy lot when it comes to receiving words of thanks for the not-for-profit credit counselling services we provide to those who have struggled with debt, and have risen above it to live financially ordered, if not debt free, lives.

We have been tickled pink over four consecutive years to receive the Consumer Choice Award in our business category in Canada. But to be honest, there is nothing more satisfying than receiving a personal letter of thanks from the individuals and families who have benefited from coming on board with us.

What delights us about so many of the letters we receive is the acknowledgment that is given to the spiritually transformative nature of what clients go through to finally come to grips with their finances.

The process of overcoming crippling debt is rarely limited to simple number crunching and a savings account. It often involves psychological factors that run deep in an individual’s life – to the influence of parents, to childhood experiences, and to bad habits and attitudes towards money developed over many years – often half a lifetime or even more.

Getting through all that stuff can be quite a task. But in the end, it’s worth it. You can’t put a number or a price tag on self-awareness and self-realization. In a sense, I guess you could say that much of what we do here at Credit Canada Debt Solutions is therapy – financial therapy that makes for a sane, lifelong relationship with debt, credit and personal money management in general.

Here’s a shining example of the kind of letters we receive from those who have braved a personal financial storm, and who have arrived at peaceful shores. Recently, client Sharlena Wood send us the following heartfelt missive after working closely with our credit counsellor, Stephan Robichaud-Tobin, over five years. Sharlena was just about to make her last payment to become debt free as she put these words into an email.

Dear Credit Canada:

As I make my final payment, I want to pay specific thanks to Stephan Robichaud-Tobin. He has been an encouraging bright light for me over the years, providing remarkable support since I started this program. The program gave me tools to plan and manage my finances, but Stephan's advice was always so meaningful and inspiring beyond words. His council helped me to be aware of my actions, and think about money in a new way. How I reacted, and thought about my situation was imperative, and many times Stephan's enlightened coaching helped me to gently take responsibility for my actions and move forward without plunging into guilt, self-blame, or self-criticism. I now manage and plan money better than ever before, therefore my time and stress are also managed well … I am deeply grateful for Stephan's guidance and the wisdom he so generously has shared. I now have many tools to make sound financial choices that help create happiness in all aspects of my life. It’s exciting and empowering, and I now live confidently, colourfully, and debt-free.

Respectfully, and forever grateful,
Sharlena Wood

Note Sharlena’s references to things such as guilt, self-blame, and self-criticism. It’s hearing her gush about how she has risen above such matters that gives us so much encouragement at Credit Canada. And this is typical of the kinds of input we receive from those we help. Low self-esteem is a huge issue in matters of troublesome debt. A big challenge for us is to help bring sorry souls back to the world of positive thinking, which opens up whole new vistas for living life in full.

Recently, another client offered thanks to a counsellor for, quote, “always being so positive and not making me feel stupid or hopeless. Somehow, I always feel like I can do something when I leave your office.”

Of course, aside from kudos for helping to uplift spirits, we also receive accolades for the practical, nuts and bolts guidance we provide. As one client put it, “Thank you for meeting with me yesterday and providing such useful information and advice. You have made my situation, and my options, very clear to me. This is invaluable to me personally. I feel I understand my position more clearly and now have hope that in the future I can work toward repaying my debt and re-establishing a good credit rating. I am also interested in the free income tax preparation program that you mentioned during our meeting.”

Okay, I know all of this amounts to a loud blowing of our own horn here at Credit Canada Debt Solutions. So be it. We’re proud of each and every success. And, as I say, we’re selfish when it comes to making clients happy as puppies nuzzling their mothers. We’ve no compunction whatsoever about craving more of the same - and letting the world know it.


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