4 Pillars was founded in 2002 and has grown to become Canada’s largest independent debt restructuring firm. Our mission is to help Canadians deal with unmanageable amounts of debt with our expertise, guidance, and independent analysis of the best solution, based on the debtor’s unique financial situation.
We have 51 offices across Canada including offices in Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa, Calgary, Montreal, Edmonton, Halifax, London, Winnipeg, Fredericton, St. John's, and Victoria, as well as towns and rural areas.
Our offices are part of our national network, giving us national strength as well as local expertise in different rural economies, housing markets, and the diverse situations of Canadians in debt.
Together, we’ve helped over 50,000 families regain financial control and drastically reduce their debt with $250 million of unmanageable consumer debt resolved every year.
We believe that Canadians suffer unfairly from the complex language and confusing processes of the debt industry. This abstraction works in the favor of creditors, keeping Canadians deep in debt and robbing them of a chance at rebuilding their financial futures.
We use education and our industry expertise to guide Canadians to the solutions that best benefit them—not the solutions that benefit creditors.
4 Pillars also helped to create a community-based financial literacy program called EmpowerU.
EmpowerU offers participants’ financial literacy training with the opportunity to save money and have those funds matched 2:1 by the program. Participants attend a number of sessions covering financial topics such as budgeting, credit, goal setting, fraud prevention, debt reduction and investments.
EmpowerU is delivered through 11 non-profit organizations. The program brings together the financial strength of ATB Financial, United Way, City of Edmonton, The Home Program, EPCOR, Government of Alberta, and 4 Pillars with the research power of Civitas Consulting to better understand how people learn about money and the long-term benefits of financial literacy.
EmpowerU participants’ results:
In the past, 'debt help' providers have used fear and technical confusion to mask the conflicts of interest that they face. These providers serve the interests of creditors, a fact they openly hide from the average Canadian without knowledge of the debt and credit industry.
Today, consumers demand choice, transparency, and want to make their own decisions, based on online research and peer-to-peer reviews.
We believe consumers must have choice and transparency, to make the right decisions for their own financial futures. They must be presented with all the options available and fully understand the benefits and implications of each solution.
We use an independent review site called TrustPilot to give consumers a clear view into how our services work, the fees we charge, and the outcomes they can expect. TrustPilot is similar to Yelp or Tripadvisor, preventing companies from deleting or bullying clients into giving positive reviews.
4 Pillars has more reviews than any other competitor, with over 2,300 independent, unbiased reviews on TrustPilot. We’ve maintained a 4.9 average out of 5, ranking our services as 5-stars.
At 4 Pillars, we’re experts in helping people navigate complex debt situations. We know that the debt system—a system that is maintained by insolvency trustees and credit counselling agencies—is rigged towards the interests of creditors.
We’re similar to the concept of a mortgage broker. If you know nothing about mortgages and wander into your nearest giant corporate bank, at best you might end up with a bad rate. You’ll also likely agree to many things you don’t understand: hidden fees, penalties, restrictions, and complex terms that benefit the bank, not you.
Unlike insolvency trustees and credit counselors, we have no duty to creditors. We are not paid by creditors or compensated by the amount of debt we can get you to pay back. We’re independent. And so, we empower you to make the right choice for you.
We also take a holistic approach to helping you, dealing with debt is only one part of the services, keeping you out of debt is equally as important. Whereas others are only interested in salvaging your assets, extracting as much as they can to pay back creditors and moving on to the next client. .
This leaves you vulnerable for future financial failure, which is why it pains us to say 13.5% of the clients we help have been bankrupt before. They were not given the support and education they need to stay out of debt and abandoned by a system designed to help them.
The system has failed them.
We help you to not only choose the right option. But also to rebuild your long-term financial stability. The below diagram provides a very simplistic overview of the process we follow.
Like any professional service, we charge fees, which are clearly outlined at the outset of the process. However, our clients agree: the fees charged are tiny in comparison to the debt reduction gained and the improvement of their financial situation from our guidance and expertise.
We aren't funded by the creditors, we don't receive a percent of what you pay back and therefore we have absolutely no conflicts of interest. Our allegiance is only to the debtors we are committed to help.
It’s a myth that insolvency trustees and “non-profit” credit counselors do not charge fees. The fees charged are usually built into the monthly payments you make that get distributed to your creditors.
Most credit counsellors charge a monthly processing fee based on the amount of debt you have, and you usually repay 100% of the amount owed. Alternatively, our fee is based on the pre and post restructuring work we complete, in addition to the work your 4 Pillars consultant does representing you, to ensure your restructuring plan is successful and fits your budget.
Here’s a list of our 4 Pillar offices if you’re ready to take the next step. You can also give us your email here and we’ll route you to the closest office.
"The stress and worries are over. We are living again."
Actual client testimonial. Name removed to protect privacy.