Even if you are knee-deep in debt and experiencing financial hardship, there are ways to get back on your feet financially and start your life anew.
1. Plan and Budget
Make a list of all income sources, everyday purchases, outstanding balances, and other expenses to see where your money is going. This will help you to redo your budget if necessary and cut some expenses. Plan ahead and start saving for a rainy day. You may want to reconsider your spending habits as well. If you have compulsive spending habits and tend to splurge, make sure you stick to your revised budget.
2. Avoid Bankruptcy
While bankruptcy is one solution to your financial worries, there are other ways to deal with debt. One option is to contact different lenders and ask whether debt consolidation is an option: https://www.lifeoncredit.ca/getting-out-of-debt-get-a-chance-with-debt-consolidation-loans/
. Other alternatives to bankruptcy include debt restructuring, formal proposal, settlement, and individual voluntary arrangement. If self-money management looks like a challenging task, contact a financial advisor for advice.
3. Reestablish Credit
This is a very important step to ensure that you have access to cheap credit. One way to do this is to apply for a secured or department store credit card and try to pay the balance in full each month. Apply here: https://www.lifeoncredit.ca/top-6-secured-credit-cards-for-canadians/ Obviously, you want to avoid piling debt so make small purchases and timely payments.
4. Pay All Bills
Make sure you pay all bills, including gas, phone, water, and electricity bills on time. Bank fees, overdrafts and bounced checks will also appear on your credit file.
5. Pay Cash
If you use multiple high-interest cards, think of paying cash whenever possible. Maxed out credit cards show on your report and will ruin your credit. Use your debit card instead of your credit card or pay cash when shopping.
6. Look at Your Credit Report
You are entitled to a free report once a year, and it pays to check for omissions and errors that may affect your credit score: https://www.creditandloans.ca/secured-credit-cards-for-canadians/. If you find any errors, report them to have them corrected so that all payments show up as they are.
7. Set Goals
Once you have dealt with debt, it is time to set long- and short-term financial goals. Keep goals realistic, whether it is going on vacation, saving for a car down payment or home improvement, or anything else.
8. Stay away from Scams
There are predatory lenders out there that prey on innocent victims and charge excessive fees and interest. Loan sharks usually pray on the working poor, immigrants, the elderly, and borrowers who are strapped for cash and need money for emergencies. While there are many legitimate and reputable payday lenders avoid loan sharks that use unethical and illegal practices.
9. Your Income
One way to deal with debt and improve your financial situation is to pad your income. You may want to get a well paid job or take on additional work.
Saving money means investing for the future, whether you plan a vacation, purchase of a vehicle, or getting out of debt.
Saving to Get out of Debt
If you are stressed and struggling with debt, it is a good idea to develop a spending plan and create an emergency fund to pay more than the minimum or prepay your loan earlier – see here. A spending plan will help you to set priorities, cut down on some expenses, and make other changes. List expenses such as insurance premiums, car payments and repairs, cash advance fees, child care, bus fare, and property tax. This way you will see where your money goes. A mistake you should never make is take cash advance on credit cards.
Cash in your savings account gives you more choices, whether to go to a public or private hospital, to choose a public or private school for your children, and so on.
Saving for Your Kids’ Education
If your kids are studying at a Canadian college or university, what you need is deeper pockets. Tuition fees are on the rise, and you will pay about $7,500 per academic year. A degree in Medicine will cost you over $22,700 per year. It pays to save for your kids’ education, and one way to do this is to place money in a registered education savings plan. One alternative is to opt for a non-registered account. Other options are to purchase life insurance, set up a trust, or open a tax-free savings account.
Buying a House
Buying a house is a costly endeavor, and you will need money to cover the down payment. While prices vary by province and territory, a residential property costs $431,812 on average. To get a standard loan from a major bank, you need a down payment of about 20 percent. Make sure that your credit file looks good and you have control over your debts.
It pays to have an emergency fund as a safety net for a rainy day. If your source of income is limited or dries up, having an emergency fund helps meet daily and unexpected expenses such as groceries, fuel, and medical bills. You can use cash in your savings account in case of emergency such as vehicle and home repairs, electrical and plumbing problems, and others. A safety net is one way to deal with family emergencies.
There are two ways to secure money to make an investment, one being to apply for a bank loan. The other is to save money so that cash towards your investment vehicle is interest-free. There are different types of investments to consider depending on how much you can save and your risk profile. The market offers plenty of choice, from long-term and mid- to long-term solutions to short-term investments. There are low-risk options that are safe and offer moderate returns – certificates of deposit, money market funds, savings bonds, and others.
Short-Term Financial Goals
It is a good idea to save toward short-term goals such as planned vacations, minor home improvements and renovations, buying household appliances or furniture, and so on. Basically, a short-term financial goal is what you plan and can achieve in a period of 1 – 2 years. Long-term goals, on the other hand, take many years to save toward. It pays to prioritize goals based on your income, household size, debts, and other factors.
Saving toward Retirement
It is a wise idea to start saving toward retirement, and there are many ways to go about this. One is to go for a registered retirement savings plan that holds a pool of investment solutions and savings. There are other options to take into account, for example, opening a tax-free savings account or tax-deferred retirement savings account. Different types of investments can be held in TFSA, including:
• Depository receipts
• Partnership units
• Debt securities
• Royalty units
• Installment receipts
• Registered investments
• Cash denominated in other currencies
• Rights and options
• Cash invested in real estate trusts and mutual funds
• Annuity contracts
There are maximum contribution limits for each calendar year.
Obviously, cash in your savings account means financial freedom provided that you live within your means. Otherwise, splurging and buying on impulse will eat up your savings.Read More
Financial institutions such as BMO, Scotiabank, RBC, and others offer cashback credit cards with perks such as free money, discounts, and generous earn rates. Premium cards feature added benefits such as roadside assistance, concierge service, luggage protection, easy returns, and many others. See more credit cards in this post written by Sam @ https://www.lifeoncredit.ca/ : https://www.lifeoncredit.ca/top-6-credit-cards-for-bad-credit-in-canada/
Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite
The best thing about this Visa card is the fact that grocery store and gas purchases earn 4 percent cash back. Recurring bill payments and drug store purchases earn 2 percent. 1 percent cash back is offered on all other purchases.
• Interest rate: 19.99 percent
• Introductory rate: 1.99 percent
• Introductory period: 6 months
• Grace period: 21 days
Aspire Cash Platinum MasterCard
This card offers multiple travel, everyday, and other benefits, including travel assistance, baggage delay coverage, purchase protection, and cash back on supplementary cards. Customers earn 1 percent back on eligible everyday purchases, and there is no limit to the rewards that can be earned. In addition to cash rewards, the card has no annual fee and goes with a standard rate of 16.8 percent on cash advances, purchases, and balance transfers. This is a great choice for customers with average credit given that issuers offering cash back cards often require stellar credit.
RBC Cash Back
RBC offers a cash back card with a low annual fee of $19 and a standard rate of 19.99 percent. Additional cards have no annual fee. Travelers cheques are also offered commission-free. Added benefits include travel insurance and Visa payWave. All purchases made on the card earn 1 percent back. RBC also offers a cash back MasterCard with no annual fee. The bank advertises a generous 2 percent cash back on groceries. Customers earn 1 percent on all other purchases.
Scotia Momentum Visa
Scotiabank features a cash back card that offers 2 percent back on recurring bills, drug store purchases, groceries, and gas station purchases. Holders earn 1 percent on regular purchases and benefit from add-ons such as credit card checks, discounts on car rentals, and optional card protection. There is an option to order supplementary cards.
• Intro rate: 1.99 percent
• Regular rate: 19.99 percent
• Credit limit: $500 or higher
• Annual fee: $39
• Interest-free period: 21 days
MBNA Smart Cash Platinum
This is a great premium card with generous cash back on selected purchases. Groceries and gas purchases earn 5 percent back during the intro period (the first 6 months). Customers earn 2 percent back once the introductory period is over. Regular purchases earn 1 percent back. This card is also a great choice if you are looking for a low-interest option to transfer existing high-interest balances. MBNA features a low rate of 1.99 percent during the promotional period (first 10 months).
Costco True Earnings Card
This card offers cash back at a tiered rate, and holders earn 2 percent on dining and travel purchases. Three percent back is offered on gasoline and gas purchases at Costco. Customers are also offered travel, entertainment, and shopping rewards, including pre-sales and discounts on concert tickets and sporting events, travel accident and car rental loss coverage, and more.
• Interest rate: 15.24 percent
• Intro rate: 0 percent during the first 6 months
• Annual fee: none
This is yet another option to earn points on everyday purchases, including groceries, flight and vacation deals, hotel accommodation, and more. PCtravel travel purchases earn 20 points per $1 spent while regular purchases earn 10 points. The interest rate is 19.97 percent, and there is a promotional rate of 0.97 percent on balance transfers. Customers benefit from no annual fee and add-ons such as balance transfer protection.
BMO Cash Back World
BMO customers earn money back on everyday purchases at a rate of 1.25 percent. The card goes with an annual fee of $79 percent and interest rate of 19.9 percent. Gas purchases at Shell locations and car rentals at select partners earn 3 percent back. Cardholders also benefit from complimentary roadside assistance, concierge services, and other add-ons. There are minimum income requirements – $100,000 household income or $60,000 individual income.
TD Rebate Rewards
Toronto-Dominion also features a cashback option, but it is no longer available to new customers. The card goes with multiple benefits such as 1 percent back on net annual purchases over $3,000. Optional extras include travel medical insurance, preferred rates on car rentals, and others.Read More