debt management

The Debt Edge

The use of debt in your financial affairs is akin to a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it is very useful to assist you in buying and owning assets using "other people's money (OPM)" such as a home or other financial asset. On the other hand, it can be a problematic tool to use in the event of a job loss, cash flow interruption, recession or rising interest rates amongst various possible scenarios.

"Just-In-Time" Living

Multiple media reports note that almost 50% of Canadians have no emergency savings and are unable to cover the cost of an unexpected expense of $500 - $1000, let alone deal with an unexpected job loss. Other reports from credit agencies such as Equifax state that even a 0.25% increase in mortgage rates will cause cash flow stress for some Canadians. The good news is that changing this "just-in-time" living IS possible!

Assessing Your Debt

Many consumers find themselves falling into the traps offered by the appeal of easy credit opportunities. They are dazzled by payment plans for tech purchases, zero-percent loans on major purchases, credit card-funded vacations to faraway locations, and blowout sales that tout incredibly long delays before any payments are due. Before long, the spending spree turns from satisfaction into the need for a second mortgage to consolidate and manage the debt load.

Mortgage Rules Tightened

In an effort to crack down on speculators and to discourage people from taking on too much debt, Ottawa is tightening mortgage rules again. These new rules are expected to take effect April 19, 2010.

There is growing concern that the housing market in Canada may be overheating. Finance Minister Jim Flaherty stresses that while there is no bubble in Canada's real estate market now, these new mortgage measures are a proactive step to help prevent a housing bubble from occurring.

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