Student Loans Got You in a Bind?

There was a time when applying for financial aid for university or college meant applying for grants and scholarships that didn’t need to be paid back. There isn’t as much of that type of funding available today. Even when it is available, it doesn’t usually cover the full costs.

Student loans are what most people have used to help them finance their way through university. They’re fairly easy to secure, and they don’t have to be paid back until after you leave college. Their interest rates are also usually lower than you would pay on other loans. They are a good deal for students.

Unfortunately, you may be in the situation that many others find themselves in after their education has come to an end. Starting pay at the job you’ve secured (if you have one) isn’t what you hoped it would be. In addition, you probably are dealing with a lot of other living expenses that you could not possibly have predicted at the time you took out your student loans. Many people start out college single and carefree, and then come out of college married and perhaps having children to support. They usually have added a car payment to their cost of living and a more expensive apartment or the purchase of a home. All these things can easily consume an individual’s pay check and leave little left for paying off student loans.

As we said, if you find yourself financially strapped because of student loan payments that you can’t afford, you are not alone. Plenty of others are finding themselves in the same situation. Many of them are our clients. We are helping them find solutions that can resolve their lopsided financial situation and put them back on track. Contact us and let ‘s discuss how we might be able to help you too.

What’s Your Hobby Worth?

Everyone has his or her own private passion. It may be sports, photography, fishing, crafting or restoring old cars. These types of passions and hobbies can keep us energized and excited about life. That’s a good thing. On the flip side, some of them can become quite expensive, and when it involves something we truly enjoy, it is easy to justify those expenses to ourselves. A good deal is a good deal, right?

If you’ve gotten yourself into debt to finance one of your hobbies – you aren’t alone. Plenty of people find themselves in that situation. Sometimes people make the assumption that the hobby will be able to pay for itself in some way, and then, that doesn’t materialize. At other times, people just get caught in the heat of the moment and hope they’ll be able to pay off the credit card debt the next month or next spring or…

Debt that has been created because of overspending of hobbies and recreational activities can be dangerous to a family in more than one way. Besides the bind it puts you into financially, it is the type of debt that often can cause strong division in a marriage relationship as well, particularly if the interest  is not one that is shared by the spouse.

Hobby debt can accumulate much faster than we expect, but it doesn’t need to be your downfall. At Creditaid, we’ve helped plenty of people deal with this same situation. Our experienced credit counselors are here to help. Contact us for your free initial consultation.

Financial Literacy in Canada – A Creditaid Commitment

Understanding basic financial principles and practices is an essential ingredient to every household’s financial stability. Financial stability in Canadian households leads to financial stability for the nation as a whole. It was in recognition of this fact that the Minister of Finance created the Task Force on Financial Literacy in 2009.

The purpose of the task force was to determine ways to strengthen and enhance financial literacy, or understanding, among Canadians. One of the means the task force utilized for gaining input regarding solutions for improving financial literacy was to request input from Canadian individuals and organizations involved in the area of finance. Because of Creditaid’s commitment to educating and training Canadian individuals and households on proper financial management, we were happy to contribute our input to the task force. Click here to visit their website and learn more.

Helping families understand how the credit system works and how to manage their finances wisely is one of Creditaid’s highest priorities. When we meet with people, they often are not fully aware of how they ended up in the financial crisis they are in. If we can provide people with the understanding and the tools to manage their finances properly, before they get in debt, we are happy to that.

Creditaid is here to provide answers to those with questions about credit and help for those with credit problems to resolve them. We are committed to helping Canadians and we’re here to help you.

Digging Your Way Out of Job Loss Debt

Losing a job is one of those unexpected circumstances that can put our finances out of balance. Even when you have some notice that a job is coming to an end, you still have to deal with the uncertainly of how long you will be without work. When these two unknown factors are combined, they can make financial management very difficult.

We all want to approach difficult circumstances with a positive and hopeful attitude. The same is true when we have a job loss. Unfortunately, that hopeful perspective can sometimes mean that we finance many items with the use of credit cards, with the assumption that we will soon be working again, and able to pay off the credit card charges. If our time without work stretches out longer than we expected, we can easily find our debt growing out of control.

Interest on unpaid balances on credit cards accumulate very quickly. If payments are missed, those interest rates can increase and have penalties added to them besides. Before you know it, what seemed like a manageable amount of debt has turned into an intimidating mountain.

The good news is that the mountain doesn’t need to keep growing. There is a way out. Even if you are still without a job, we can help you bring your debt back under control. Contact us for your free initial consultation with one of credit counselors. We are here to help.

Credit Card Offers Are Sexy

Back-to-school for many post secondary students means the onslaught of credit card offers that entice with low interest rates and perks – Free Trip Anyone?

Before you apply for that new credit card, ensure you educate yourself on how to handle credit and manage debt. Student debt is such an important thing to understand. It is the begining of establishing a solid financial start as an education is pursued.

Receivables Management Association of Canada – New Member

As a reflection of our continued commitment to our clients and the industry, Creditaid has recently become a member of the Receivables Management Association of Canada (RMA).
Receivables Management Association of Canada (RMA) vision is to become the first National association of its kind; extending into every province and territory to set the professional standards of our industry.
RMA Canada works with its members to promote the activities of all those connected to the industry by bringing their concerns to the attention of the authoritative bodies that control day-to-day activities.

5 Reasons Why You Should Pay More Than the Minimum

Credit card companies all provide you with at least two amounts on your monthly statement, the total balance due and the minimum payment due. The minimum payment will always be the lower amount. Those who have found themselves deep in credit card debt have often gotten there by choosing to pay only the minimum payment due. Here are five very good reasons why you should always pay more than the minimum.

1. Saves you money. How can paying more each month save you money? Easy! It’s called interest. The more you pay each month, the less interest you have to pay in the long run.
2. Get out of debt faster. Less interest means that you get the debt paid off faster.
3. Improved credit rating. Decreasing your debt will also improve your credit rating, which affects interest rates on loans and even your car insurance rates.
4. New charges. If you are continuing to use your card and only making the minimum payments, eventually you will reach your card limit and not no longer have a credit card available for items that require it for purchase, such as hotel rooms.
5. Better spending habits. Developing good spending habits will lower stress and improve your overall lifestyle. Paying off your credit card balance monthly is one of the best spending habits you can have.

If you have a balance on your credit card that you are making minimum payments toward, now is the time make a change. Quit using your card and find every means possible to increase your payments each month. You’ll be amazed how fast that balance can disappear.

Top 5 Ways to Save On A Wedding

Weddings can be expensive, but that doesn’t mean you need to break the bank to have a beautiful and meaningful event. There are several ways to save money without losing the beauty and charm that you expect for this special occasion.

Here are the top five ways to keep your costs in line with your budget.

1. Limit your guest list. Determine the amount of guests you can afford to feed at the reception and set your guest list accordingly. Take into consideration, how many people you can actually greet personally in the time you will have available. If you won’t have time to say hello to each one, maybe your list is too long.
2. Keep it light. Since the catering bill can be the largest cost for many weddings, this is the ideal place to look for options. Many wedding couples are opting for a dessert reception or finger foods after an evening wedding.
3. Shop locations. There are many locations that offer package discounts that combine honeymoon accommodations with their reception hall rental. Take the time to find the place that fits your budget and your seating needs as well.
4. Uncover the talent. Rather than paying large amounts of money for unknown professionals, seek out the talents of friends and family for areas like music, photography and catering.
5. Custom invitations. Instead of buying expensive printed invitations, many couples are saving money and also creating very customized invitations by putting their computer skills to work.

Set a budget and then work to fit your dreams into it. When you look back, you’ll be glad you did.