Credit Counselling Society (CCS) Officially Founded in 1996
Over the course of 6 months, Scott began preparations to launch the organization. To raise the money needed for renting an office and paying salaries, he presented his vision to different organizations and asked each one to consider making a contribution. It wasn’t easy. Not all chose to participate, but many saw the need and decided to support the initiative. In the end, Scott managed to raise over $200,000.
On October 7, 1996, with only 3 employees, the Credit Counselling Society (CCS) officially opened its doors with one office in New Westminster, BC. In its first year, the organization managed to help 344 people. By its second year, word had begun to spread and the organization helped 10 times as many.
Replacing Government Services
As CCS grew, so did its reputation for providing practical help that really works. The voluntary arrangement and cooperative partnership CCS facilitated between consumers and their creditors was proving to be the most effective way of helping consumers resolve their financial difficulty. Many took note, including the Government of British Columbia. In April 2002, BC’s government decided to stop accepting clients into their Orderly Payment of Debt (OPD) program in favour of the Credit Counselling Society’s service.
In 2012, after observing the work of CCS in Saskatchewan, the Government of Saskatchewan also decided to close their credit counselling office and OPD program and refer residents of Saskatchewan to CCS instead.
The Growth of the Credit Counselling Society
Word-of-mouth referrals have always been one of the greatest sources of referrals for the Credit Counselling Society. As news about its services spreads and people share with others how they’ve benefitted, demand for our help naturally increases. When CCS first noticed consistent demand for its services from certain regions in Canada, we responded by opening offices in these places to provide in-person, local credit counselling.
CCS’s first two offices were opened in BC’s Greater Vancouver area. This was followed by an office in Victoria, more offices in Greater Vancouver, an office in Kelowna, and then an office in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Over the years, we’ve opened more offices in British Columbia, followed by offices in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Ontario as the need for more non-profit credit counselling services in these provinces became clear.
Today, the Credit Counselling Society has 23 offices, including one in all major cities in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Ontario. Since first opening its doors, the Society has helped over 650,000 Canadians. Through its Debt Management Program, CCS has also helped over 32,000 people pay off over $440 million of debt.