Hi folks! This year I thought I’d exercise my duty to educate during November, FINANCIAL LITERACY MONTH, by sharing a four part video series about the basics of financial literacy. This information is very brief and is intended as a starting point for conversation.
I urge educators of youth aged 15 to 19, financial professionals, parents, etc to contact me about giving an online presentation to your group.
Hi Folks! Can you believe it’s November already? HAPPY FINANCIAL LITERACY MONTH 2023!!!
So, what should you be thinking about and working on to be adequately “financially literate”? Here is a short list of things to keep on your radar:
1. Write down your budget – yes, actually write it down in a special notebook or create a spreadsheet – include monthly net income, monthly recurring expenses – look at your bank statements if you don’t know – spend a few months never paying with cash & read your bank statements, make a section for annual items and break them down monthly in your budget
2. Savings/Investment – open separate accounts for high interest savings, RRSP/TFSA/FHSA, stocks, etc. Offsetting your income tax and saving for retirement are very important
3. Pay off debt – especially high interest debt. This should actually be first on the list for anyone who has credit card debt, a vehicle loan, an unsecured loan, a small business loan or a second/third mortgage – really anything except a first position low interest mortgage. Sometimes it can be strategic to hold a low interest mortgage if you’re getting a big return on the money you borrowed. I like mortgage LOC’s best for this as they don’t have maturity dates and therefore are not subject to rate increases BUT you definitely should still have an exit strategy in place
4. Keep miscellaneous spending under control – for some people this is huge and it’s a must – see #1 above re: using Interac for purchases to help keep track on bank statements
5. Consolidate your overdue debt – your credit report often is used as an addendum to your application for employment, apartment leasing, mobile phone service and to obtain many types of credit. Check the links below for guidance in this category
Hi Folks! Well summer is here and, as we enjoy the beaches and barbeques, we can also stay on top of our financial plans for retirement.
I decided to throw together a comparison, half of which may go against conventional wisdom and I’ve run the numbers so I can give you a comparison of two different strategies for retirement planning. Your choice may depend on your confidence in your abilities.
RRSP CONTRIBUTIONS VERSUS SMALL BUSINESS AS A RETIREMENT PLAN
Example I: Our person, an employee, contributes to an RRSP faithfully every month from age 20 to age 65 in gradually increasing amounts which average $314/month for a full 45 years which grows at an average of 5.50% per annum compounded annually. This would roughly equal $2200/month in retirement income
Example II: Our person, a sole proprietor, runs 1 small business and two side-money generating side projects. He makes some short term investments when available which provide incredible ROI’s which help him position himself and his business, but, aside from about $75,000 in cash, he/she doesn’t have a standard retirement plan. When this person is ready to retire, they’ll have their adult child or grand child take over the business, maintaining 15% ownership to be available as a consultant which will translate into about $4000/month in the form of loan repayment until the new owner had paid off the other 85% of the cost of buying the business and all it’s assets which will take about 20 years to complete
Your choice may depend on your personal skills or, if still undecided, you may choose to grow both options simultaneously to varying degrees as a backup plan.
It’s getting closer to summer and as the weather warms up, so do our curiosities about our personal and financial well being.
I received a call today about a topic I’ve touched on many times but never as directly:
UPDATING YOUR PERSONAL CREDIT REPORT
In Canada, as an adult consumer, you have a personal credit report. Even if it has little to no history, the report exists.
You have a right to review the personal and financial information being reported about you AND you have the right to provide proof of any inaccuracies and to have those proven inaccuracies corrected within 30 days.
Normally, the first step is to check your Equifax and TransUnion credit reports followed by reporting and proving if any inaccuracies are discovered.
As long as your address is up to date, you can order your free credit report any time 24/7/365 without any mailing or faxing or human interaction using the automated services at the following phone numbers:
If your address is NOT up to date with Equifax or TransUnion, you’ll be unsuccessful using the above telephone services until you send in THIS FORM. When the address update is done, they’ll immediately mail you a free copy of your credit report.
The types of update that are commonly required are:
The main reasons for keeping your personal Equifax and TransUnion credit reports accurate are:
Chow for now,
In Canada, for the masses with great credit and no issues, there are chartered banks, many credit unions, some investment banks and some regional banks.
For the self employed, seasonal workers, gig-economy workers and those with poor or no credit history, there are a handful of large national alternative lenders with storefronts charging over 27% interest, a slew of payday lenders in possibly the most litigated form of borrowing over the last 17 years.
Starting around 2013-14, fintech became a new term to describe lenders that want you to apply online and get a quick yes or no within one day, no phone consulting and no frills.
Fast forward to 2020 and you’ll notice fintech lenders dominate the alternative lending landscape online. They do not open physical shops and, although they will take calls, they really want online applications from people who are ready to borrow immediately if approved.
With so much to consider, how can you know where to turn?
1. Look for a lender on a mission to do good for its borrowers. Check their website and look for companies whose owners have a passion for helping in tough situations and have been there for years or decades
2. Look for straight answers right away. Ask about fees, how long it will take and what they need in order to approve you.
3. Avoid lengthy back and forth phone calls. A true fintech company will make the approval process fully automated, online, fast & easy.
4. Reviews matter. A good company will have reviews from real people who have been helped in the past BUT too many reviews and they may have be fake posts bought from an ad company.
Today I thought, since I`m always posting about the benefits of credit strategies, I`d explain WHY.
Whether you have multiple high interest debts you want to consolidate, have had a period of layoff from work / medical issues interrupt your ability to earn money, if you are in/past a Consumer Proposal or bankruptcy and simply want to speed up the process of rebuilding your credit or any other issue that has caused financial problems – this is important for you to know.
Getting any type of alternative financing to solve a problem can make sense but it`s all in the details. Using the wrong strategy or no strategy at all often makes things worse not far down the road.
You need to realize that it`s all about the credit report aka your financial resume. Credit reports are not only used to approve credit applications. Prospective landlords and employers usually include a credit report consent blurb in their application forms so they can judge how responsible you are. This may not seem fair, but it`s reality.
When you get any type of loan or financing to pay out other debts, it`s critical that your credit report is quickly updated to reflect the paid out debts. Never assume that this will be done by someone else or you`ll find out the hard way at the worst possible time. Landlords and employers don`t contact you to tell you something looks terrible, you just never hear back or you`re swept aside like dust.
For more details on what`s required to properly update your credit report after payout of debts check out my November 2017 post Receipts
NOW – here`s the savoury part: The reason to get alternative financing to get out of arrears is so that you`ll never need alternative financing again. If you`re going back to the well more than once, you`re doing it WRONG.
Step 1. Get fair alternative financing to pay out debts (high interest cards, collections, etc)
Step 2. Get a release letter from each creditor or their agent stating the original account number, agent reference number and confirming no further liability
Step 3. Make your payments on time or early for 6 to 12 months
Step 4. Obtain your free Equifax credit report to ensure accuracy (see links at the bottom of this post)
Step 5. Exit-to-A meaning apply at a bank or credit union to pay out the balance of your alternative financing at a low rate. This is usually done between month 12 and 24 after debt consolidation. Be aware that, besides credit score, another important consideration is your debt-to-income-ratio.
I hope this has shed some light on strategic debt consolidation and credit maintenance techniques. You can`t underestimate the importance of getting this right. The reward for nailing this is money in your pocket!
Free Equifax Credit Report – Canada Call 1-800-465-7166
As many people are taking the advice from my April 2020 blog post and reviewing their budget, a new question has often come up: How much of my income should be designated to rent and other household expenses?
The answer is part of a calculation called TDSR (Total Debt Service Ratio). This is the percentage of your gros monthly income used for household expenses and minimum debt payments.
When you apply for a mortgage as well as some other loan types, banks and other lenders calculate your TDSR as a way to establish how much you can afford. Overall, the ideal TDSR, from a lender`s perspective, is between 30% and 45%. From a borrower’s perspective, the ideal TDSR is zero, but that only happens when there are no expenses. Here`s how to calculate your TDSR using an example of $6700/month gros income:
|Rent or mortgage + property tax||1250||18.7% so far|
|Utilities||50||19.4% so far|
|Cell||60||20.3% so far|
|Car payment||330||25.2% so far|
|Credit card(s)||220||28.5% so far|
|Line(s) of credit||100||30%|
One of the most important ways TDSR is applied is when you apply for a mortgage in Canada with anything less than 20% down payment, the mortgage must be insured (by CMHC, Genworth or Canada Guarantee) and each insurer allows a maximum TDSR in order to qualify and they sometimes change the rule to reflect how our economy is operating and to try to help keep borrowers safe.
I hope this demonstrates how to budget for changes in your life or just fine tune your finances.
Free Equifax Credit Report – Canada Call 1-800-465-7166
Hi folks! It’s almost autumn and a great time for self improvement.
Here is exactly how to pay a debt to a collection agency or directly to a creditor AND ensure your credit reports not only reflect the payment in full or settlement in full immediately, but also improves your credit score:
If a debt was 180 days over due or less when it was brought to zero balance it will resolve to R1/I1 meaning good debt, if it was more than 180 days over due when the last payment was posted, it will show as R9/I9 “Paid in Full” BUT THE TRADELINE AND UPDATED PUBLIC RECORD WILL NO LONGER BE FACTORED INTO YOUR BEACON SCORE.
As long as you do all of this and use/pay on time any credit reporting account, such as a secured credit card, you will see major credit improvement over the next 6 to 12 months and at 24 months many people are able to be qualified by their bank for an unsecured credit card, personal loan or mortgage.
I have done this many, many times for my clients and, as long as you do it exactly as described here, it works perfectly every time.
You can reach out to me any time for help with this including how to put together money for offering lump sum settlements and I’d be happy to help out.
It’s time to communicate about…communicating.
That might sound weird. Kind of like a practice for a practice (highly recommended!).
Look – at this moment, we all have needs. Financial needs, yes, but we have to nurture our total well-being and that involves communicating. Listening and being heard or better, UNDERSTANDING and being UNDERSTOOD. Right?
I try to communicate to provide solutions to problems experienced by others. Often, the problem we’re experiencing today is on a topic where we could use improvement or a policy review is needed. Working on problem areas feels like a heavy weight and the first half is no fun BUT once addressed, the old issue can be your new best skill or the solution may hold some value to you. Even deciding how to avoid the same problem in the future feels good and is an accomplishment. Document these things.
I hope this helps you and that you found it interesting.
In light of our new mutual agreement to all work on communicating, if I have ever failed to communicate with any of you in any way, for any reason I assure you it was not intentional and I welcome hearing from you anytime!
Good evening folks! Hope everyone is happy and healthy and ready to forget everything they believe about making a budget.
I can hear you 😉 But seriously, this will be fun & you’ll get paid in the form of savings and knowledge.
Open up a spreadsheet. Or grab a pen and paper. Can’t? Too busy? Etcetera?
All good, I made one for you – download below!
Self employed? Here’s a complete record keeping template just for you. You can use this to easily run the book keeping for any small to medium sized business.
That’s it! So simple it requires no further explanation. Just fill in the form, save on your phone or computer and live by it. Hang it on the fridge if you need to.
How often is it that you find everything you’ve been wanting and needing in one place for free?
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Hi folks! Still hanging in there? And by in there I mean indoors! It’s funny cuz it’s very true.
So…this week being what it is, an interesting topic has come up repeatedly. You get zero guesses but here’s my answer:
For as long as I have worked in finance & credit, making a credit payment of less than the minimum balance or more than 30 days after the original due date came with the immediate risk of a credit update showing those allowed to peek that you are in arrears. Many banks and other creditors routinely delay the process of reporting the initial late payment by an extra 30 or even 60 days but rarely longer. This means making a verbal arrangement to pay less than the usual and making or even exceeding the arranged payment will still result in a credit report showing a delinquency. Basically, you could say the higher your interest rate on a balance owing, the less inclined the lender was to lend to you in the first place so they WILL act to prevent default. This means you may wonder how dare they ask you to pay when you may not feel your strongest. If you are suffering, your creditor is compassionate however, they may be suffering as well. Many finance companies, department stores and many iconic brands have closed in recent years.
In summary, make a late creditor payment, even if they said it was ok, don’t be surprised if your trade line reflects a default of the original terms of the credit piece.
Will mortgage renewals be as easy to negotiate favourably? We know you do NOT want to “settle” an unsecured consumer debt with the same bank that holds your mortgage. This news is old and well tested. Don’t do it. Other creditors – yes often but that’s talk for a different thread.
Will prospective employers who use a credit report glance as part of their pre-hire due diligence adjust their risk exposure? Remember that when a company hires an employee with debts in collections, the employers staff often get stuck fielding the calls asking to verify employment. I think an educated employer would want to avoid expending their resources in this way by choosing best credit history.
Free Equifax Credit Report – Canada Call 1-800-465-7166
This is an interesting topic I was recently asked to discuss.
Replacing a lost or stolen credit card should not hurt your credit score as the old account is simply transferred to a new account number & reported to Equifax & TransUnion accordingly. The old closed accounts would show as closed with zero balance.
Problems, however, can arise when lost or stolen credit cards are closed without transferring them to a new account through the card provider. This could happen when you have zero balances and assume there is no urgency in getting an uncompromised card. Credit scores are algorithm generated numbers and are effected by such events as not using credit and not paying at least the minimum payment by the due date.
The good news is that your beacon score fluctuates up and down in a predictable way and what can be done can be undone quickly.
Should you find yourself in a postion where your beacon score is suffering for this reason, visit your bank or other credit card provider. Explain you cancelled your lost or stolen credit card but did not transfer it to a new account. Provided there are no red flags they will identify you & usually will be more than happy to open a new credit card account for you on the spot. The new account should report to Equifax & TransUnion as an active account within 30 days of it’s first use.
The ideal way to use a credit card is to have your recurring payments such as Netflix, etc go on the card & to pay off the balance in full by the due date every month. Some people do the same with their groceries and, if it’s a points card, there are benefits to putting almost everything on the card to accumulate points faster. The key is to pay the balance in full by the due date every month or you will incur interest.
You can get your free Equifax credit report in Canada by dialing 1-800-465-7166, confirming your identity with their automated system & your credit report will usually arrive via mail within 5 business days in most cases.
I recommend you self-pull your Equifax report before and after any credit issue such as the one discussed here.
If this post has helped you in any way, please let me know by leaving a comment below.
All the best – DGB
Hi folks! Today let`s make sure everyone is clear about what a successful debt consolidation should accomplish.
The benefits of getting this exactly right are far reaching and the quality of the strategy and how it`s implemented WILL effect the quality of your life in a big way.
Debt consolidation does not always require a loan. Any money from any source will do. What you need to be prepared for is that not all change is good. Only undo what isn`t helping you and only add what will help you.
In many ways, a successful debt consolidation should be like fixing a broken bone. You wear a cast only long enough to perfectly repair the damage, then you move on stronger than before.
I hope this has helped and motivated you to learn more. The links provided in this post are designed to guide you to what works. Feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org or hit me up on Facebook for more assistance.
Cheers for now!
C.C.C.M. does not attempt to generate revenue but we are a quality leads network for those who do. Our members must adhere to our code of ethics which revolves around the concept of responsible personal financial/credit management and financial literacy.
All memberships are free.
Members (financial professionals) get login access to www.loanreferral.link along with optional push email notification updates to stay on top of your referral approvals as well as all Member resources as they are developed.
NOTE: We are currently seeking like minded Members involved in the fields of private/institutional lending, credit rehabilitation, debt collections, insolvency counseling as well as professional educators (updated Nov. 2023)
To register click HERE
Hey fellow Canadians!
Has it been a year already? Like I always say: Let’s make it a learning experience.
Here are the main things I feel all Canadians should know beginning in childhood-
Our personal credit history, or lack of, is reported by Equifax and Trans Union to it’s paid subscribers in the form of a personal credit report.
Our personal credit report is used for a lot more than assessing credit applications. We are also judged by employers, landlords, cell service providers, etc. They judge our levels of responsibility and maturity based on what they see and once we are judged poorly we may not get a chance to explain.
You can learn about using receipts to keep your credit report accurate, the importance of auditing your own credit at least every 12 months and develop an understanding that credit should only be used to leverage yourself not as a piggy bank.
Self explanatory but needs to be understood and practiced starting in childhood. Here are some tips
Here are some tips
The decisions we make lead to habits and tendencies which create a Financial Environment and getting it right is the difference between success and failure. I speak more about this here.
Hope you enjoy!
Derek G. Boucher
As school ends, activities & family schedules change along with a review of financial priorities and goals.
Debt consolidation & the many savings achieved from strategically leveraging good credit throughout life are a daily conversation in my life.
I speak to dozens of Canadians each day needing guidance to overcome damaged credit, bad debt, low income and a variety of circumstances that may have led to or resulted from these types of problems.
In an effort to reach out to more people I offer you all a simple 4-section template designed to easily help you understand whether or not you will immediately qualify for a loan to consolidate a) all of your debt OR b) only your overdue debt.
Although some people’s situations may require special attention, the chart is a very good general guideline.
Simply click on the “DO I QUALIFY??” link at the top of this blog entry, save a copy on your computer or network and go back to it anytime you want.
The information you enter on the form is not saved by this website in any way.
Enjoy and let me know if this helps or interests you.
IMPORTANT: My templates are not to be sold. You understand and agree that no advice is given, received or implied simply by the use of my templates.
Hi folks! As summer warms things up I’d like to pass on some advice that will warm up your ability to not only recover from financial hardship but PROSPER in the shortest time possible.
Let’s talk strategy!
You have $15,000 in overdue credit card debt which, as some of you may know, I would have settled for $9000 and I would help you update your Equifax and TransUnion reports so you see rapid credit improvement in 12 months.
A loan for $9000 at 15% interest costs $1262.57 in interest during the first 12 months. The total interest over 5 years (60 months) would be $3846…
…You shouldn’t stay unnecessarily comfortable for four years after the initial 12 month credit repair stage.
You should “exit to A” which means be prepared to graduate to a less expensive bank loan at the end of month 12.
Therefore in month 13 your balance is $7693.12 at est. 6.25% rate making your total interest paid in year two $442.50
Continuing above for 2 more years to complete the loan costs another $351.05
Using this strategy the borrower would have paid a total of $2056.12 in interest to pay off a loan of $9000 over four years which is exactly the same as paying an interest rate of 8.41% on $9000 over five years
PLUS……you get the initial $6k in settlement savings and properly rebuilt credit along with all of the benefits of strong credit.
Yep do it THAT way! 😎
Today I’m going to provide a step by step for anyone who wants to consolidate their debts with the goal of savings and credit repair in mind.
This works for any type of debts including personal lines of credit, business lines of credit, bank or retail store credit cards, vehicle loans, student loans, overdraft, payday loans, income tax, property tax, money owed to a collection agency, etc.
Debt consolidation can take many forms and does not always involve borrowing. To help you explore every option, please scroll to the section that applies to you:
1. Why Would I Consolidate My Debts?
When done properly, debt consolidation will save you money now, re-establish your credit in 12 to 24 months and save you money later. You will save money now by paying less interest/penalties. The more you owe, the more you will save. Credit repair is dependent on your personal credit report being updated after each debt is paid out. Saving money later will occur as your credit improves by graduating to less expensive credit products. Not all credit professionals adhere to these principles so for the best care and advice click here
2. Locked In RRSP’s
You can use your Locked In RRSP as a tool to consolidate your debts. For more help on this click here
3. Debt Consolidation If You Own Real Estate
You can use your house, condo, farm, bare land, commercial property or mobile home (yes even on rented space) as a tool to consolidate your debts even with bad credit. To learn more click here
4. Debt Consolidation If You Have No Assets
You can use your income as a tool to consolidate your debts and repair your credit. To learn more click here
Let’s talk about something you may have never considered – Psychological addiction to DEBT. This is real and very serious!
I’m sure many of you will relate to the following:
John or Jane Doe has credit card debt at 20 – 29% interest. Payments are usually made on time but the cards are all nearly maxed out and only the monthly payment or slightly more is paid back monthly. No big deal, right? Wrong! The card holder couldn’t afford their required purchases so the solution is to pay 20% – 30% more???
I know most of you see there’s a problem here but what is the problem? Is it lack of income? Is it the creditor’s fault for charging too much? Is it “the system”?
What’s been described in paragraph three, folks, is ADDICTION.
Psychological addiction simply means you did something, no immediate pain was felt, you did the same thing again and now it’s a habit. Over wearing your favourite pair of jeans is the same theory except the jeans don’t hurt you long term. Debt and failure to understand it’s short and long term consequences does hurt A LOT. In fact, statistics show that 36% of Canadians are suffering due to their decisions about debt.
If you had 10 identical boxes of rice all 1/10 full in your kitchen cupboard, what would you do? I bet you’d poor all of the rice into a single box to make things more organized.
I feel the main reason people don’t know to do the same with their problematic debt is not because they lack intelligence or common sense but because they are afraid of debt and they feel their lack of expertise on the subject will lead them to making a poor choice. People are afraid of change.
No, don’t ask your bank to finance your overdue debt – they won’t. Also don’t go to the well known companies that charge 47% interest. They know your history of poor choices makes you an easy target for another terrible choice. What should you do?
Speak to someone who’s first priority is educating you on all of your options and who’s second priority is saving you money now and down the road by providing you with an understanding of personal credit management and a few really easy to understand actions you can take to make huge improvements.
Maybe not all change is scary, when it helps you progress from something bad to something good.
For those of you who want leads on where to get great advise here are some helpful links:
Many Canadians want to restructure their finances for various reasons and saving money is often high on the list of priorities. The decisions they make lead to habits and tendencies which create that person’s “financial environment” and getting it right is the difference between success and failure.
Your financial environment is your position relative to risks. Basically, savings and assets versus expenses keeping in mind income security.
Everyone reading this has probably seen themselves or others work hard to get into a situation where they are very likely to succeed with multiple projects in progress while having strategies in place to watch for and correct any issues. Some may call this being “in the zone”. I prefer to call it “smart planning” and I’ve adhered firmly to the principle both personally and in business for a long time. This is the mind set required with debt consolidation. A summary of things to remember will follow.
Debt consolidation should, under NO circumstances, involve any of the following:
1. Assumption that a loan is the only solution
2. Loan interest of over 15% per year (secured) or 30%(unsecured)
3. Loan term of over 12 to 24 months except in certain circumstances
4. Payments to a debt management agent or other agent who accepts payment intended for distribution to creditors other than a Chartered Insolvency Professional
5. Any assumption that a personal credit report will be updated to properly reflect the lump sum payout of debts or that loan company management or bankers have any experience, knowledge or motivation in the category of credit repair
6. Failure to focus on overall credit improvement AND save you money now AND save you money later
7. Reliance on a third party to confirm the state of your credit.
All Canadians can obtain a copy of their free credit report and can also correct any inaccuracies within thirty days
TO FIND OUT HOW CALL
Canada Student Loan Borrowers in British Columbia and Ontario:
Are you affected by the wildfires and need help making your loan payments? Contact the government at 1-888-815-4514 to fast-track your application for the Repayment Assistance Plan.
The Repayment Assistance Plan (RAP) and the Repayment Assistance Plan for Borrowers with a Permanent Disability (RAP-PD) makes it easier for you to manage your student loan debt by reducing your monthly payment.
Your monthly student loan payments would either be reduced or you would not have to make any payments, depending on your financial situation. If you have a permanent disability, it could also depend on your permanent disability-related expenses, which include allowable uninsured medical expenses, special care and other expenses directly related to your permanent disability.
Enrolment is not automatic and you must re-apply for this plan every six months.
Note: If your loans were issued to you by Prince Edward Island or Manitoba, you must apply directly to your province for repayment assistance for your provincial loan. Contact your provincial student financial assistance office to find out more.
Hello self-employed friends!
Many individuals become self employed because they are extremely skilled at providing a particular product or service, however, many put much less time into ensuring they are equally skilled at actually running a business properly.
Getting stuck owing personal or corporate income tax, GST/PST/HST, payroll deductions, etc is not fun and can often translate into other types of debts when improper strategies are applied. This is often how the process of accumulating bad debt and weak credit begin, the cost of which is very real and consequential.
To help you all, I provide the following free forms which are all you’ll ever need to properly keep books for your small to medium sole proprietorship, corporation or charity. Simply click on the “Daybook Templates” link at the top of the blog entry, open, scroll to the top to see the templates and click from tab to tab to see the different forms you will need. Save a copy on your computer or network when customized or save and go back to it later if you prefer then fire your book keeper. Nothing against your bookkeeper personally but the investor (i.e. your spouse) is demanding a better ROI ;P .
Enjoy and let me know if this helps or interests you.
IMPORTANT: My templates are not to be sold. You understand and agree that no advice is given, received or implied simply by the use of my templates.
I often hear people talking about the decision to either pay off debts or keep the money & build savings.
Your credit card charging you interest is 100% guaranteed while an emergency is a big maybe. Logic dictates you would pay off debt to the best of your ability even if it jeopardizes your savings plan while USING CREDIT STRATEGICALLY to ensure you have a credit history without incurring interest by paying it in full monthly.
The money you save by not paying interest increases your savings potential. Every time you pay debt you increase your personal net worth by an amount equal to the payment BUT you must reduce cash savings by the amount of interest incurred on debt to calculate your personal net worth which makes it less profitable.
Once you pay off debt and the savings begin, you should invest the savings in an income tax exempt product like an RRSP linked to an Exempt Market product so that, in addition to the tax savings, you earn 7 – 10% per year rather than the 1 – 3% paid by banks.
In summary: Pay debt first, save as a result then invest the savings to save income tax & grow your retirement savings. This is the best strategy around for people with only small money to play with.
No bank will ever tell you this because they can’t sell Exempt Market products because they cannot earn commissions from them AND they want you to be in debt due to the interest they earn.
Telecom complaints are up 73% and Bell was the subject of over 33% of them (source: https://www.itbusiness.ca/news/telecom-related-complaints-went-up-73-last-year-and-bell-received-one-third-of-them/100900)
I have noticed a pattern so I’ve given special attention to Bell over the past 2 months. During this time I have personally spoken to many people with complaints against Bell Mobility regarding incorrect billing. They all say Bell tried billing them incorrectly but when they complained, either directly or through CCTS (Commission for Complaints Telecom-Television Services), the incorrect billing was eventually withdrawn. Bell may try to give the impression they simply made a mistake but, due to the disproportionate number of complaints against the company, it may be considered evidence of violations on Canadians who aren’t fully aware of the wireless code and therefore pay despite no liability.
Bell Mobility and its affiliates combined reportedly have 9.008 million subscribers as of the end of Q3 2017, making them Canada’s second largest wireless carrier.
Here are some rough numbers. Suppose one in twenty Bell Mobility customers are incorrectly billed each year and suppose one in a hundred of those pay anyway. This would result in over 18,000 Bell Mobility customers getting ripped off each year. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THIS? Again, Bell is Canada’s second largest wireless carrier. Do you believe they are innocently making an honest mistake? Does that excuse them?
At the time of drafting this blog, shares of BCE Inc. are reportedly trading for $53.89. Is fending off complaints this how the company uses their investors resources?
GOOD NEWS BC !!!
Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing in BC, has confirmed that, after pressure from the public, the Class 1 Residential classification, which is used to administer the Foreign Buyer’s Tax, will NOT apply to apartment buildings! This is good news for many BC residential tenants as it is one less cost for landlords to pass on to renters.
This is an urgent Credit issue requiring the immediate attention of all Canadians who have purchased home energy products such as furnaces, water heaters (see full list at the bottom*)
In Canada, companies feel they can convince you to buy home energy systems such as furnaces and water heaters as well as contracts for gas and hydro as long as they can gain your trust. The preferred method of these companies is to send aggressive sales people to your door and convince you to let them inside your home. They often add bait to the hook by suggesting things like a free energy evaluation of your home, etc.
In January 2017, the Alberta NDP government under the Fair Trading Act, banned door to door sales of unsolicited household energy products. This means that, unless you invite them, no one can knock on your door and offer these items to you for sale. The banned items are water heaters, windows, air conditioners and energy audits*.
Since the January 2017 ban in Alberta, sales agents often tell customers that they’re selling un-banned items such air filters or LED light bulbs but once they’re in your home they begin pitching banned products. They believe they are now considered an invited guest and are free to consider themselves “solicited”. THIS IS ILLEGAL!
If a supplier is charged under Alberta’s Fair Trading Act, the maximum penalty is up to $300,000 AND two years in jail. The supplier can also be subject to administrative penalties of up to $100,000.
Pressure is being added in Manitoba and other jurisdictions to make similar changes. In 2017, Manitoba’s Consumer Protection Office received 19 complaints on this subject but there are more Manitobans out there failing to speak up. Remember, in Alberta it only took 1000 complaints to the Consumer Protection office before changes were made so THE TIME TO BE HEARD IS NOW!
I have (and will continue) to contact journalists from major news organizations to gain support for this issue and from there I will bring it to the attention of provincial law makers BUT NO ONE WILL CARE UNLESS WE GET PUBLIC SUPPORT THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA AND OTHER SOURCES so please comment below and on our Facebook page and please be prepared to sign a petition if asked.
On the financial side, Albertans who have purchased banned products (water heaters, windows, air conditioners and energy audits) PRIOR to January 1 2017 and who still owe money to the seller can negotiate settlements for savings or, in some cases, forgiveness of the debt. The same will soon be true in many other provinces once the pressure on law makers proves too much and the related reputation damage to private corporations reduces the value of these accounts by 50 to 80% in the next 3 to 12 months.
I run a financial services company called DBO VENTURES FINANCIAL and have successfully arranged settlements with savings in the thousands of dollars for consumers with debts owed for the banned products mentioned above prior to the change in laws.
Those who owe money to these companies can contact me directly at 1-866-277-1048 to learn how you can save a lot of money and have the lien associated with the debt removed from your land title. This is a free consultation.
I spoke to someone in Manitoba today who is receiving treatment for a serious illness and needs some additional money. Meanwhile they have a locked-in RRSP with a major financial institution which they cannot unlock to help with personal and medical expenses. They cannot unlock the RRSP because the Manitoba provincial government’s legislature adds 6% growth to the current value of the RRSP until the owner reaches age 65 and if the result is over that year’s threshold, no access to funds is possible.
WELL…this person tells me the current plan value has gone down in the last 12 months with no withdrawal.
There could be a strong argument that the Manitoba government needs to revise their private RRSP unlock regulations to reflect the reality that people are experiencing and to address the fact that people sometimes need to use their resources to escape extreme financial hardship. We all know many financial problems often become more expensive over time. In other words, a solution today often costs less than a solution tomorrow.
In the example above, the RRSP is with a very well know Canadian Bank who manage many private RRSP’s. Are the plan owners simply supposed to let the RRSP shrink to zero while provincial regulations ignore the truth and prevent people from accessing their hard earned money, often at the most important decision making time of their life? I realize the government believes it needs to restrict people from using their retirement funds prematurely and this may be true but only for fiscal reasons and maybe an ounce of prevention would be better than what comes later in the long run.
If enough people care about this and post comments here and on our Facebook page I will use the momentum created to add pressure to people who can influence change SO LET ME KNOW. Thanks
One important area of focus is on the subject of Debtors receiving properly identifiable letters of release after paying a delinquent debt to a creditor or their agent. Currently, provincial regulations across Canada range from failing to require any documentation to prove the debt has been paid to failing to require documentation which is sufficient for updating personal credit reports.
ALBERTA FAIR TRADING ACT
Currently, the Collections And Debt Repayment Practices Regulation section of the Alberta Fair Trading Act – Section 21, subsection (1) states:
Every collection agency and debt repayment agency must acknowledge the receipt of all cash transactions made in person, or payments made at the debtor’s request that the collection agency or debt repayment agency or a collector, debt repayment agent or employee collects or receives from a debtor for distribution to the debtor’s creditors by means of receipts that meet the requirements of subsection (2).
Subsection (2) states:
The receipts referred to in subsection (1) must contain (a) the date the amount is collected or received, (b) the name of the debtor, (c) the name of the person for whom the collection agency or debt repayment agency acts, and (d) the amount received from the debtor.
BRITISH COLUMBIA, SASKATCHEWAN AND MANITOBA
The following provincial regulators all have similar shortcomings with regards to regulation that fails to understand how to integrate the rights of Canadian consumers with existing legislation:
THIS IS INSUFFICIENT !
Equifax Canada and TransUnion will both amend personal credit reports within 30 days of notification by the consumer using THIS FORM, as per the Access to Information Act and both are quite reliable in sending letters of confirmation to a consumer upon receipt of such a request provided proper verification is received. Proper verification procedure requires that the creditors original account number (or, for security purposes the last few digits) be prominently displayed on the receipt (i.e. Release Letter). In the case of updating a collection in the Public Record section of a consumer credit report, the agent’s reference number for credit reporting purposes much be prominently displayed on the receipt (i.e. Release Letter). Failure to clarify exactly which debt was paid by providing account and/or reference numbers on receipts may be interpreted as passive-aggressively continuing to attempt collection on an already paid debt by virtue of the debt continuing to be displayed on the consumer’s personal credit report as an unpaid debt. This weakens a consumer’s beacon score or prevents improvement of a weak beacon score which leads to an array of far-reaching issues such as inability to qualify for a new mortgage or excessively high home ownership costs due to interest rate increase by chartered banks at mortgage maturity or due to the need for alternate financing when criteria for approval by chartered banks are no longer met.
CCCM intends to add pressure to law makers, starting in the provinces mentioned above, so that provincial regulations can be updated to reflect the basic rights of consumers and to better align these provincial rules with the federal Access to Information Act.
This goal requires YOUR SUPPORT! We aren’t asking for money as we are not a business for profit. We ask you to simply comment on this blog and our Facebook page by adding your supportive messages. This will demonstrate to law makers that we are not alone in our drive for Canadian businesses in the credit industry to co-operate with consumers who pay their overdue debts after overcoming financial hardship and provide useful documentation that satisfies not only the creditor’s limited concept of how to close an account but the wider, more accurate fact that failure to revise policies as per our suggestion is abusive to consumers, a violation of the Access to Information Act and makes the creditor liable for damages in the event of a claim. People are waking up and are refusing to be damaged by failures to properly interpret simple laws therefore the provinces must align their rules with existing federal rules before things get complicated for businesses who offer or who collect credit debts.