The holidays may be over, but the debt isn’t. It’s no secret that the holiday season can cost a lot of money. Last year, the CBC reported that the average Canadian family spent an average of $643 on gifts alone! And that figure doesn’t include money spent on decor, food, or travel. While people are putting away their holiday decorations and looking towards the start of the New Year, bills are starting to make their way to the mailboxes of those who used loans or credit cards to fund their holiday spending.
If your holiday spending is stressing you out, here are a few tips to help you reduce your debt after the holidays and to help you work towards your financial goals:
Assess Your Holiday Spending Debt
If you placed your purchases on multiple credit cards or took out a loan, it’s time to sit down and figure out how much you owe. Before you make a plan to tackle your financial situation, you should also look into the repayment information for each debt, including:
- Payment due dates
- Minimum payment amounts
- Interest rates
If some debts have higher interest rates, you should consider paying the minimum amount on the debts with smaller interest rates and paying more each month to the ones that have higher interest rates. If you can pay more than the minimum amount each month, that’s all the better! Your debt might seem overwhelming right now, but once you start repaying it, seeing the amount owed go down each month will feel like you’re making progress.
You should also consider using a debt consolidation service to help you manage your debt, especially if you have higher interest rates. A debt consolidation company will take your debts and combine them into one with a lower interest rate.
Plan smarter for next December by:
- Putting a little money each month into a separate holiday savings account
- Minimizing your credit card spending
- Making a clear plan for what you’re going to buy and sticking to it
- Asking for the kid’s Christmas lists early, so you can compare prices and get the best deals possible
- Avoiding impulse buys
Sites, like Pinterest, are full of fun and unique craft ideas that could easily become your family member or friend’s favourite gift. Not only will homemade gifts save you money, but crafting together is a fantastic family activity that will help you avoid the stress of the mall. Plus, you can customize the items to fit the giftees’ needs and taste. It’s a win-win!
Think Long Term
It’s easy to get caught up in the hype of the holiday season and feel that it’s necessary to go all out with the gifts, the food, the decor, etc., but it’s really not. The holidays can still be wonderful without all the bells and whistles, and it’s not worth going into more debt for it. Keep long-term financial goals at the forefront of your mind, and focus on time with family and friends, not just the monetary aspect of the holidays.
Need help managing your holiday spending debt? Email us at email@example.com, or get your free credit score today!
While the holidays are meant to be a joyous time, they can also be stressful. Between Christmas shopping, fighting through crowds and traffic, and dealing with lengthy family get-togethers, you may find yourself tired and anxious at the start of the New Year. This makes winter a great time to get out of town and de-stress on a relaxing vacation. However, going on an expensive vacation is often not affordable for people after the expense of the holidays. If you’ve found yourself in this situation this winter, you may want to consider a vacation loan for a relaxing winter getaway.
What Is a Vacation Loan?
A vacation loan is a type of personal loan that allows you to borrow up to $40,000 with an APR of between 5% and 36%. The interest rate and amount you can borrow will depend on your credit, and some interest rates may be higher. This allows people to take exotic vacations when they would not be able to afford it. They can pay the money back between one to seven years.
Travel loans can be particularly beneficial for people who seem to have a hard time saving for a vacation. These loans allow them to take a trip, holding them accountable for making regular payments when they get home. However, it’s vital that you are sensible when taking out a vacation loan; do not take out more money than you need and set a strict budget to ensure that you do not overspend on your trip.
Travel loans are often preferred compared to putting a trip on a credit card, as these loans are usually easier to obtain. A loan will also help you to avoid overage fees that can be associated with credit card use. Additionally, a personal loan will not affect your credit use ratio like maxing out a credit card would, and it removes the risks associated with opening a new credit card that you could potentially max out; once you repay your vacation loan, that line of credit disappears.
Why You Need Us
If you’ve found yourself overwhelmed in the New Year with the stress of the holidays, you may want to consider the benefits of using a vacation loan to de-stress this winter. Find out if a vacation loan is right for you by email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or create an account to get started!
The journey of life is an unexpected one at times. All it takes is one unforeseen emergency and you end up borrowing money to cover unexpected expenses.
When Canadian consumers are caught off guard with a sudden emergency, it can push their household expenses to a tipping point. A recent survey by the Canadian Payroll Association says 48 per cent of Canadians are living pay cheque to pay cheque and if their pay was delayed by even one week, they would have a difficult time paying their household bills.
The CPA poll highlights the obvious for many consumers – Canadians are stretched to their limits and there will come a time when some will be in over their head. If you are struggling to keep up with your bill payments and you feel like the walls around you are coming down and there’s nowhere to turn, it is time to contact a trained credit counsellor. A trained credit counsellor will discuss your whole financial picture and review what debt consolidation options are available to you. A credit counselling session will free your mind of stress and end the plague of debt.
If you do not know if you have a problem with debt management, here are some things to consider:
- When you receive your credit card bill, you can only afford to pay the minimum payment
- You are using your savings to pay your household bills
- All of your credit cards are maxed out and you are considering obtaining another credit card to manage with expenses
- You borrow money from family or friends to pay your bills
- On a monthly basis you choose which bills to pay every month
- Discussing household finances becomes a source of arguments
- You spend your pay cheque before you get paid
- Fifteen per cent or more of your income is spent on paying down on your debt
- You are stressed out and you cannot sleep at night
- When the phone rings, you avoid answering it for fear it is a bill collector
If you are overwhelmed by your debt and the above scenarios are speaking to your current lifestyle, it is time to stop fighting the obvious and get help to manage your debt. You can speak to a trained credit counsellor who will review how much you pay in bills as well as your lifestyle expenses. One credit counselling session will provide recommendations free of charge to help you manage. You can call Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada to speak to a trained credit counsellor at this toll free number 1-888-696-9376
The mountain of debt is an ugly one. It looks nothing like the historic architecture in Quebec City – it is a plague that starts small and harmless, but grows into an unbearable burden for many Canadians.
If you are struggling to make ends meet and you can only afford to pay the minimum monthly payment on your credit card, this is an alarming wakeup call – to get help. Let’s face it, ignoring a problem will not make it any better, it will make it worse and in the case of debt management, if you ignore your debt it will grow. So do yourself a favour and attack your debt head on with the help of a trained credit counsellor.
There are various debt management options available to Canadians however not all are created equal. There are a few bad apples out there trying to make a fast buck. Do your homework and find a reputable agency for credit counselling.
When you are able to find a decent debt consolidation agency to help you manage your debt, they will get you on the right track with managing your debt. There are many different types of credit you can get help with:
- Credit cards
- Lines of credits
- Store cards
- Payday loans (depending on the agency)
- Unsecured loans
Debt management organizations are unable to help you with the following secured loans such as:
- Car loans
- Home equity loans
If your heavy burden of debt is becoming too heavy to carry anymore, know there are resources available to you to help you manage your debt so you can be debt free. While on a credit counselling program you will change your relationship with money. You will understand how to create a budget, save money for unexpected emergencies as well as how to live within your means. So get that monkey off your back and get help today. You can give a trained credit counsellor a call at this toll free number 1-888-696-9376.
When you are shopping around for a car, it is a no brainer to comparison shop for the best deals in town. You will also look at popular online forums to learn about the reviews of various car makes and models. In some cases, you may even look to rural cities or provinces for deals. However when you are about to get a car loan, how often do you look around for the best deal?
Many consumers do not consider shopping around for a car loan and this can have some financial implications.
Car loans are a big financial investment and it is important to shop around to find out what you can realistically afford. If you do not do your homework and shop around, you may end up pushing your bank account to extinction.
So when you go car shopping, consider the following tips to help you get a car loan you can afford:
Look at your whole financial picture
A car loan is more than monthly payments. You have to consider how long you will be paying your loan as well the interest attached to it. You can negotiate lower monthly payments and a longer term however in the long run, you’re paying more on interest.
Know your limits and stick to it
Create a realistic budget that incorporates the purchase of your car and your projected car loan payments. Your budget should include your household expenses too. Also tack on how much you intend to spend on gas on a weekly basis, your expected car insurance costs as well as overall vehicle maintenance (oil changes, tune ups, minor repairs etc.)
Before you sign the dotted line
When you have agreed with your lender the terms and conditions of your loan, make sure you read everything you sign. It is never a good idea to sign anything without understanding the terms and conditions.
Grab a life line and change your life
If you tried to negotiate a car loan for a car you are thinking of buying however you reviewed your budget and financially there is no way you can buy a car and keep up with your loan payments, it is time to seek the advice of a trained credit counsellor. Don’t worry, you are not alone, many consumers are in the same boat as you. It can be difficult to manage your debt on your own. You can call and speak to a credit counsellor who will help you manage your debt. If you want to put your mind and stress level at ease speak to a counsellor right away by calling 1-888-696-9376.
Shopping around for a car is fun and exciting especially when you have a specific make and model in mind. However if you are searching for a popular car like a Honda, Mazda or Ford etc. – you will need to have a little patience. How so? Some makes and models literally fly off the car lot as soon as it is listed. To have an upper hand while shopping around for a vehicle, some consumers prefer to have some money on hand to put a deposit down. However before you put your money down or pay for anything, make sure your mechanic gives your dream car the thumbs up first!
In a perfect world we would all have enough money to pay for our new car in cash, but that’s simply not reality and we turn to debt. Whether it’s a personal unsecured loan or a secured loan using the car as collateral, we need to make sure it fits within our budget. Too often the emotion of buying a car, one that we really have our hearts set on, clouds our financial judgement. Unless we plan ahead, and factor our budget into the purchase and ongoing expenses, we end up living beyond our means. If this scenario happened to you, don’t worry – you are not alone. Many Canadians across Canada are living paycheque to paycheque trying to make ends meet on a monthly basis. The good news there’s help available to get you on track without claiming bankruptcy.
Your five-step debt management plan:
- Gauge your financial health. How much of your paycheque is used to service your debt load? Is 50 per cent of your pay going towards your debt? You can get a better idea of your financial situation by calculating your debt-to-income ratio. Keep your debt-to-income ratio under 36 per cent to avoid drowning in debt.
- Create a plan. Create a budget to gain an understanding of where your money is going, and cut whatever isn’t absolutely necessary to free up cash. Whatever extra money you gain, you can apply it to managing your debt.
- Carry only cash everywhere you go. When you use only cash, you are able to spend within your means. Once your money is gone, it’s time to leave the store.
- Limit buying your meals outside of your home. Instead make your meals at home. You will save hundreds maybe even thousands of dollars a year. Economic meals start with smart shopping behavior! Create a healthy meal plan, buy in season, and shop for the week!
- Seek credit counselling. If you are feeling overwhelmed by incorporating the above tips in your lifestyle, seeking the guidance of a trained credit counsellor will help you to get back on track with your debt management. You do not have to do this alone, seek the appropriate help.
Get your financial house in order today and the best part, you can do this without leaving your home! You can pick up your phone to speak to a trained credit counsellor now at 11-888-696-9376. A trained credit counsellor will help you to create a budget and slay your debt in record time!