Monday, 26 January 2015

2015 To Do List: How to Fix Your Credit

One of the worst things about rising debt, and the negatives that accompany that debt, is the hit your credit report takes as a result. Even after you have sought out assistance to deal with and pay down your debt, that credit report still reflects the last few years of not so great credit behaviour.
So what? Your credit score is just a number – one you never really see. What does it matter? Planning on buying a house or car in the near future? Want to rent an apartment? Need a loan? Any of these will require a credit check, and if your credit score is low, so too might be your chances of obtaining financing.
Have you checked your credit score lately? This should be done on a semi-regular basis, just so you are always aware of how your credit looks. But beware – we are not suggesting a monthly check as every inquiry shows up on your report and too many inquiries can have a negative impact.
Want to know how to fix your credit? Here are a few useful and effective tips to do so.
How to fix your credit - short-term goals
Check your report for inaccuracies – anything that looks questionable on your report needs to be looked at further. Can’t determine what it is? Call the creditor. If it is in fact incorrect make sure you have that removed from your credit report right away.
Catch up on any late and missed payments – these are some of the most detrimental activities reported to your report. If you continually miss payments or make those payments late, you will quickly be considered high risk.
Get a secured credit card – a secured credit card is one that uses your own money, rather than the creditor’s, and thus there is no risk for the lender. However, you are still required to make regular payments and display good credit behaviour.
How to fix your credit - long-term goals
Reduce your balances to below 75% of your limit – or lower. Having accessible credit on your various credit products is a great way to show good borrowing behaviour and it also demonstrates that you are not borrowing outside of your means.
Pay more than the minimums – paying the minimum balance on your credit cards specifically will make it nearly impossible to pay down that debt. Put aside a certain amount each month that is a designated debt payment and make sure to go above the minimums.
Stop applying for new credit – too many applications for new credit and you start to look like a credit seeker – someone who can’t sustain their current spending habits.
Fixing your credit will take time, but a constant attention to what needs to be done can make the process much smoother and far more effective.
For more tips on how to fix your credit please contact DetbCare Canada today by calling 1-888-890-0888.

Monday, 19 January 2015

In The News: Global News Talks Canadian Consumer Debt

In a recent Global News release, the most recent Canadian consumer debt statistics were examined, and what’s been found might surprise you.

According to the article, debt levels vary from province to province, and the spending trends vary with them. The article states that in the east, where consumers are less likely to be able to handle the financial burden, spending has increased; debt levels have increased, on average, 4%. However, in the more economically prosperous west, people seem to be dialing back.

Ontario seems to be sitting somewhere in the middle. The articles notes, “Ontarians increased their obligations by more than 2.5 per cent in the second quarter compared to the same period a year ago, to $20,385.”

Check out this infographic from Equifax which highlights the average for each province and how much that average has increased over the year.

Check out the full article here.

For more about Canadian consumer debt levels or how to get a handle on your own debt levels, please contact DebtCare Canada today by calling 1-888-890-0888. 

Monday, 12 January 2015

Ring in the New Year with These Finance Fixing Tips for Paying Off Debt

Last week, knowing that the holidays have now come to a close, we started 2015 off with a list of helpful tips to get rid of holiday credit card debt. This week, we thought we’d go a step further and help you get a handle on all of that debt - both credit cards and other debt - that has managed to stack up over the course of the year. If your debt has become a problem, and you are finding even the smallest minimum payment a struggle, this list will really help you stay on track when you start seriously paying off debt.

2015 paying off debt tips list:

1.      Our first piece of advice: take a breath. Yes, we know how stressful debt can be – but it helps, even if just a little bit, to put it in perspective. You are not alone. Thousands of Canadians are in the same boat. And, there are resources to turn to when you don’t want to do it alone anymore.

2.      Make a budget. Include absolutely everything that you spend money on on a weekly and monthly basis, and the amounts. Estimating? Round up.

3.      Decide what can be removed from this list. Sure, you can’t stop paying your mortgage or rent, but the daily lunches out and weekly massages may not be financially feasible. Think about making that morning coffee at home – even the little things can make a huge difference. Cutting costs is perhaps an unwanted part of paying off debt, but it is completely necessary.

4.      Start with the credit product with the highest interest rate, and ramp up your payments on it first. Continue making payments (as much as possible) on the others. Once you feel more comfortable, move on to the next highest one.

5.      Start saving - even just your spare change – in a piggy bank. This way, when you want to make an indulgent purchase you can use that money rather than increasing your debt.

If even these tips seem like a drop in the bucket, perhaps it is time to think about getting some extra help. A debt consolidation, one done by a reputable company, can turn all of those small monthly payments into one and cut the interest. A consumer proposal shares these benefits, as well as the possibility of cutting the total debt. Bankruptcy may also be a viable option.

Our best advice as far as paying off debt? Be realistic. Speak to a debt specialist to find out exactly what works for you.

DebtCare Canada has the resources to help you get that debt under control. For advice about your strategy for paying off debt, please call us today at 1-888-890-0888. 

Monday, 5 January 2015

Holiday Spending Got You in a Crunch? Check Out These Credit Card Debt Solutions

Happy 2015 everyone! The holidays are wrapping up and that means that it is time to get back to reality, which, for most of us, means looking over those holiday bills that we’ve been attempting to avoid for the past month.  If holiday spending has you in a crunch, check out these credit card debt solutions to help get those finances back on track.
  • Stop using those cards! Right now. Take them out of your wallet, lock them away, and forget that you even have them. If most of your holiday spending was done on a credit card – whether as a way to gather points or just because it was more convenient than using your debit card – it is time to stop that trend.
  • If you can, pay off the balances in their entirety as soon as possible. If you are able to do so, avoid snowballing interest charges by paying off the totals at the bottom of that bill.
  • If you can’t pay off the balance in full, pay off as much as possible – try not to pay just the minimum payment required. This is mostly interest and won’t do anything as far as bringing that debt down.
  • More than one credit card? Try starting with the one with the highest interest rate and paying as much as possible each month. Then move on to the next one. Make sure that you continue to pay at least the minimum payment for every other card though – there is no point in paying off the one with the highest interest but letting the others go to collections!
Finally ready to admit that the debt that has accumulated is not just a result of holiday spending, and thus may be a bit larger than you can comfortably or realistically get rid of with these tips? It might mean taking a different route to get to financial freedom. Debt consolidation, a consumer proposal or even bankruptcy may be the right option to help you get rid of that mountain of debt that has not only become stressful but has also begun to impact your personal or work relationships.
DebtCare Canada has the experience and knowledge with debt solutions to help you get out of debt – whether it is holiday debt or all-year round debt. For more about the various options available to you please call us today for a free assessment at 1-888-890-0888.