Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Health and Wealth: Toronto Star Talks Personal Debt and its Impacts

It is common knowledge that financial troubles and personal debt can be major stressors - and that this stress can then lead to other health impacts - but now studies have shown this to undoubtedly be the case.
Check out this recent article from The Toronto Star.
According to the article, “Studies show that illnesses such as diabetes are twice as common in Ontario’s poorest households. Cardiovascular disease is 17 per cent higher than the national average for low-income Canadians. Cancer, arthritis, and asthma are all more common amongst the poor. Research suggests that chronic stress, often caused by financial strain, can even impact our very biology.”
A new initiative at St. Michael’s hospital is focussed on dealing specifically with the health impacts of financial stressors. This program, which was approved over a year ago, has already made significant inroads. One patient of the program noted, after receiving support through the program with rebuilding her finances, including filing for bankruptcy, “I just didn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe all of the things were finally lining up and I could start getting some help.”
Dr. Bloch, the program developer, believes that this program is not only necessary, but effective, and states “the impact of this kind of support on patients can be more dramatic than any drug”.
Knowing that financial stress, largely a result of personal debt, can be detrimental to your health, why continue to ignore it?
Call DebtCare Canada today for the support and advice required to clean up your finances and eliminate the stress: 1-888-890-0888.

Backed into a Corner: Stopping a Wage Garnishment

You’ve just received your bi-weekly paycheque, but the money deposited in your account is far lower than what is stated on your paycheque. After inquiries to your payroll department, you realize that this is not a mistake to be remedied by your company, but rather the result of some unpaid bills. A wage garnishment can be a financially devastating thing, one that is actually incredibly common, so what can you do to stop it?

Firstly, what is a wage garnishment? Well, when you owe money to a creditor that you have not paid, they may opt to head to court and obtain an order to have those debts garnished from your paycheque, unless you owe money to the Canada Revenue Agency and then a court order isn’t even necessary. Once this order is obtained, a requirement to pay letter is sent to your employer, who is then legally required to submit a portion of your wages – to the tune of up to 50% - directly to the court.

Wait – can’t your employer just say no? Not unless they want to deal with the repercussions! When it comes to these court orders, besides paying your debts, there are only 3 other ways to stop a wage garnishment:

  1. Making a deal with your creditor. Start here, but we suggest not getting your hopes up. If your creditor has taken the steps to obtain a court order against you, they likely have already attempted to contact you on numerous occasions and would therefore be unlikely to accept a negotiated repayment plan.

  1. Consumer proposal. Once a consumer proposal has been filed, all wage garnishments stop! And the bonus here is that not only are you stopping your wages from being taken, you also stop all interest and merge all of your debt payments into one convenient monthly payment that you can afford. The downside – your credit can be negatively impacted (although that has likely already occurred).

  1. Bankruptcy. Like a consumer proposal, declaring bankruptcy stops all wage garnishments and eliminates many of your current debts. In exchange for this, you are required to adhere to certain regulations including attending credit counselling sessions and declaring surplus income. And like a consumer proposal, your credit can be negatively impacted.

If you believe a wage garnishment may be forthcoming, or if one has already been leveraged against you, don’t worry – we can help. For more about stopping the garnishment of your wages please contact DebtCare Canada today by calling 1-888-890-0888.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Happy Holidays From DebtCare Canada

It is officially that time of year again, and we just want to wish everyone a very happy holiday season. For many of us, 2014 has been full of great memories to cherish, and for many of our clients, it has also been a time of exciting financial victory – we are proud to have been a part of that triumph!

With the New Year just days away, and New Year’s resolutions being written, just remember – if you are struggling with financial problems, DebtCare Canada can help. You don’t need to struggle or continue to face those financial hardships on your own. Call us to help establish a plan to make 2015 your year for financial freedom!

Call DebtCare Canada today at 1-888-890-0888.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Who Is Spending? Canadian Household Debt

Canadian consumer debt has continued to rise over the last few months, and although the delinquency rate has dropped, the spending has not. But since the delinquency rate has dropped, that means that individuals are more conscious of the need to keep up with paying off Canadian household debt – which is always a good thing.

So who is spending, who is responsible for dealing with household debt, and how do Canadians feel about their retirement financials? Check out this great infographic “He Debt, She Debt.”

According to the survey, both men and women say debt repayment should be a top priority, but there were a few interesting findings:
  • Who is responsible for household debt?
    • It is equal: 39% men vs. 54% women
    • Me or mostly me: 56% men vs. 36% women
    • My partner or mostly my partner: 4% men vs. 10% women
  • Are you confident you’ll be debt-free at retirement?
    • 55% of men and 49% of women said yes
  • Do you find the idea of retiring with debt stressful?
    • 60% of women and 42% of men said yes
Where do you stand as far as these survey results? Are you the big spender in your household? Do you feel as though retiring without debt is a feasible achievement?
If Canadian household debt seems to be a stressor, no matter who is responsible, or if you feel like retiring without debt might be an impossible goal, please call DebtCare Canada today. We can help you deal with your debt problem and get you back on a firm financial footing: 1-888-890-0888.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Tips for Dealing with Debt Over the Holiday Season

The holidays should be time to relax, enjoy time with family and friends, and eat far too much delicious food – but for far too many of us, this time of year is also accompanied by a biting anxiety when you think about the amount of money being spent. For those individuals with debt, holiday spending can be a major stress inducer – so we’ve developed a list of easy to implement tips to help with dealing with debt over the holidays.

Tips for dealing with debt over the holidays:

First off, set a holiday budget and keep track of what you spend. Establishing a budget is the best way to ensure that you don’t overspend. Have several people to buy for? Divide that budget into envelopes and take those with you when you shop – once an envelope is empty you are finished with that person.

Start a Secret Santa tradition. Instead of buying for all of the adults in your family, draw names and set a budget and each person buys only for one person – this can seriously cut costs.

Shop with a list. This can help curb over-spending if you stick to the list rather than buying everything that you see and think others will love.

Shop early. You still have a few weeks before you have to give those gifts, so get started right now. This also helps to give you time to price match, ensuring everything you want is in stock. And when shopping early, take the time to look for sales and discounts.

Get creative. If you have the time and the imagination you can save a ton of money by making gifts rather than buying them. Take advantage of Pinterest for great gift ideas that you can make yourself – you might even find some great ideas and suggestions on saving money in other ways.

Remember: many of us start out with good intentions –buying everything with credits cards with the intention of paying these cards off as soon as the holidays are over – but this isn’t usually what happens and many individuals find themselves paying for their holiday spending months into the New Year. Don’t let the holidays = huge credit card debt.

Dealing with debt during the holidays can be a challenge, especially if you are already struggling financially, but these tips may just help you keep things in perspective and stop you from going overboard.

For more about dealing with debt, whether during the holidays or at any time during the year, please contact DebtCare Canada for tips that you can use any time: 1-888-890-0888.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Getting Back in The Black: Credit Card Debt

Credit card debt – the giant elephant in the room that sometimes you don’t even want to acknowledge, let alone discuss with anyone else. We all know that sometimes it gets to the point that ignoring this monetary mountain seems like the only way to preserve your sanity – but if you’ve reached this point we urge you to reconsider! In this case, the phrase ignorance is bliss could never be more incorrect!!

Here are some realistic credit card debt solutions that can help you get a handle on these financial obligations:

  • Pay the minimum monthly payment at the very least. Never ignore a credit card statement – this will quickly destroy your credit. If you can, pay a bit more than your minimum payment on each card. Since monthly minimum payments are mostly interest, paying just a bit more each month means you are actually paying off the balance.
  • Pay the card with the highest interest first. With interest rates as high as 29%, your monthly payments on credit cards are going to be almost all interest – meaning very little is actually being achieved as far as paying these cards off. A popular method for getting rid of credit card debt is to start with the card with the highest interest rate and pay as much as your budget will allow on top of the minimum payment, while still maintaining the minimum payments on your other cards. Once that card if paid off, start on the card with the next highest interest rate.

Sure, these two suggestions are both great if possible – but if you can’t pay even the minimum, it might be time to think about some other options.

  • Apply for a debt consolidation loan. One of the reasons that credit card debt is so problematic is because of its high interest. If you have more than one credit card company hounding you for payments on a regular basis, why not consolidate all of those debts into one with a consolidation loan with a lower interest rate. Not only does this option reduce the amount that you are required to pay (meaning more is applied to the amount owing rather than just empty interest payments), it also keeps it contained with one convenient monthly payment.

Can’t get a handle on your credit card debt and feel as though you are suffocating? Don’t let it become insurmountable. Get in touch with a debt solutions organization with the knowledge and expertise that can help you get a grip on this all too common financial problem.

For more about strategies for dealing with credit card debt please call DebtCare Canada today at 1-888-890-0888.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Educating Yourself on Dealing with Divorce Debt

It is common knowledge that when a marriage ends, finances often need a complete overhaul, and significant debt is often a product of splitting assets and building a new life. Dealing with divorce debt can sometimes be incredibly difficult, especially when it is coupled with the emotional turmoil that often accompanies the dissolution of a marriage. That being said, the best way to move forwards is to deal with those things that can increase your stress.

First, make an appointment to establish a budget. A professional financial consultant can help you go over all of your finances and create a budget that sticks to your post-divorce lifestyle. Since your monthly monetary intake will change significantly post-divorce, facing this head-on is crucial. Once you are on your own, it is even more essential to live within your financial means. Your lifestyle will change, that is inevitable, but creating a budget that takes this into account is an intelligent way to ensure that monthly bills are paid on time, all the time.

Has divorce created debt that seems insurmountable? You are not alone. Many divorced couples, after a divorce is finalized, find themselves faced with debt that accrued as a result of this event. The splitting of assets, selling a home, lawyer fees, etc. can mean a much higher debt load than was owed previously, and so dealing with divorce debt right away is important. If you don’t think that you can handle the debt that has built up over the course of the proceedings, you are like many other individuals out there, so don’t worry, there are options available to help you overcome this hurdle.

Debt consolidation. A debt consolidation is an important option to consider now that your income has been cut in half. This is because a debt consolidation will consolidate all debts into one (hence the name), meaning far less interest being paid monthly, and one convenient monthly payment. This makes meeting financial obligations much easier and saves you money.

Consumer proposal. Once marital debt has been divided, and the amounts you are required to pay monthly seem to far outweigh your monthly income, a consumer proposal might be a smart option. A consumer proposal is an arrangement made with your creditors that not only results in one low monthly payment you can afford, it also means a reduction in overall debt based on a proposal made to creditors for partial repayment and partial forgiveness.

These are just two of the many options available if you find yourself in the difficult financial position that is dealing with divorce debt. For more information on one of these options, please contact DebtCare Canada – we have years of experience helping individuals deal with debt and divorce:  1-888-890-0888.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Knowledge is Power – Changes to Your Equifax Credit Report Part 2

So, you’ve reviewed part 1 of this blog series and you have gained a better understanding of the elements of your credit report and what lenders are looking for. But wait – there is more to just understanding those elements - now there are new things that are reporting to your credit report that were not included in the past.

In the past, primarily loans, credit cards and lines of credit reported in the trade lines area of the credit report. This meant that as long as you paid those creditors on time, if you paid your phone bill for example a month late, it wouldn’t negatively impact your credit report.

Well things have changed.

Mortgages – mortgages now report to your credit report. So, if you make a payment late on your mortgage, it will negatively impact your credit score. With this there is a new M Rating that relates to the reporting of mortgages.

Telecommunication providers – While a few phone providers (both cell phone and home phone services) started this practice a couple of years ago, most are now reporting to your credit report. Make a payment late on your phone bill and risk damaging your credit. Typically telecommunication providers register their rating as an O rating because the payment terms are every 30 days.

To review the entire Equifax Credit Report User Guide – click here: http://www.equifax.com/pdfs/corp/CIS-105-E_Consumer_User_Guide.PDF.

If you have bad credit reporting to your credit report and don’t know what to do – Call us because we can help. DebtCare Canada: 1-888-890-0888.