Whether you live in Brandon, Carman, Gimli, or Anywhere else in Manitoba, Creditaid can Help You

Canadians are taking on more and more debt. The latest statistics show that, excluding their mortgage, the average adult living in Canada has more than $20,000 of debt hanging over his or her head.

This huge figure is the result of a recently surging economy, which builds confidence among borrowers about their ability to pay back their debt, and record low interest rates, which means that the cost of borrowing those dollars might seem lower than the average.

Map_of_ManitobaAt Creditaid, we see this as a huge problem. The Canadian economy has slowed, especially in Western Canada, where a recent softening of the market for petroleum products has impacted the oil industry and its core of support businesses.

There are a lot of reasons people wind up with debt, and not all of them are irresponsibility. An unforeseen job loss, a sudden expense, or a family member in need can start the slide, and the banks and credit card companies will let you spiral further and further into debt from there, as that helps them maximize their profits.

At Creditaid, we help people get a handle on their debt. We can tell you how to start to climb out of your debt situation, and offer services like debt consolidation when they’re appropriate. We’re credit professionals who are, for once, on your side in your battle against debt.

To have your questions about credit counselling, debt management, and debt consolidation answered, contact Creditaid online or by telephone at (204) 987-6890. We can help you no matter where you live in Manitoba. Our area of service includes but is not limited to Winnipeg, Brandon, Steinbach, Winkler, Stonewall, and Selkirk.

2015 Marks a New Relationship with Smart Biz Winnipeg

Creditaid is very proud to have formed a relationship with Smart Biz Winnipeg for 2015.

Smart Biz Jan 2015 editionSmart Biz is a monthly publication that aims to connect people with information about different educational paths and career streams. Smart Biz works with the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, the Assiniboia Chamber of Commerce, and the Downtown Winnipeg Biz, in order to present perspectives from within the workforce. Every issue also features lifestyle columns on health, money, gaming, personal life and fashion.

Brian Denysuik will be publishing articles to appear in Smart Biz throughout the coming year, offering advice on everything from the new rules of cohabitation to the basics of creating a budget.

You can access the January edition here or by clicking on the image in this post. Brian’s first article in the series appears on page 15.

Follow button from Smart Biz siteBe sure to visit the Smart Biz website and click the “Follow” button in the bottom right corner to keep up with all of the updates!

Budgeting for a Mortgage

When you are buying a home, it is important to know that you will be able to manage the payments on the mortgage. You will also have to secure a down payment amount, which is usually paid out of your own pocket without the help of a loan. While your budget may cover the monthly repayments on your mortgage, you also have to allow for future outgoings for things like starting a family, purchasing a car, or home improvements.

Although a higher down payment means handing over a large amount of cash, it will also greatly reduce the interest and insurance that you pay on your mortgage loan. Any payment under 20% of the total mortgage loan amount requires that you purchase default insurance, which will add thousands of dollars to the loan.

There are two main types of mortgage – open or closed payment. An open mortgage allows you more freedom to pay off higher amounts on your loan, but usually come with a higher interest rate. Closed mortgages require that you pay a fixed amount each month; however, you may have an allowance for making over payments. In the case of over payment allowances on closed mortgages; make sure to check your limits with the lender, as they can charge you penalties – known as repayment charges – running into thousands of dollars.

Each lender has their own terms for issuing mortgage loans. It is up to you to shop around and get the best option for you. Before you do, make sure that your credit report is clean and free of errors. You can order a copy of your credit report from a credit agency before you speak to lenders, giving you time to correct any errors or making payments on defaulted debts.

If you have forecast your budget wisely, you will know which mortgage suits you best. A good rule of thumb is to opt for an open type loan if you expect to make large frequent payments to bring down your loan cost quickly. If, on the other hand, you have a tighter budget where you will only be able to pay a fixed amount each year – opt for a closed type loan.

Living as a Couple – Time for the Talk

Your relationship is going well, and you take the big step to move in together. However, reality soon comes crashing down. Before you know it, the honeymoon is over, and you’re disagreeing about every little aspect of your lives together.

One of the biggest sticking points for couples is finances. You may find that you each hold completely different views about the importance of budgeting, or when you do budget, you disagree on what is or is not a priority. These are the times that will try your relationship, but the good news is, you can get through it and reach an accord.

First of all, there is no way around it – you need to be honest with each other. Discuss all your assets and debts, so there are no unpleasant surprises. You then need to decide whether to share financial responsibilities and to what degree. One person may be bringing a lot more debt to the relationship, which is why it is important to have this conversation early in the relationship.

Make sure to discuss your individual credit history, too. Your ability to borrow as a couple will be greatly impacted by your past spending. Don’t panic if your partner has taken out a lot of credit in the past; this is your opportunity as a couple to explore options for getting to a place of financial stability. Talk about setting a budget and goals for clearing debt, and decide on a ratio of responsibility for that debt.

While it is important that both of you contribute financially to your budget and the paying off of debts, you should also play to your strengths. The person who is better at managing monthly bills should take care of that side of your finances; however, it is important that both people in the relationship share the overall responsibility of maintaining the budget.

Compromise and communication are key to a strong financial relationship so make sure you discuss and come to an agreement on where your money is going and when. A relationship takes work, but by having this honest conversation early on and staying on track with budgeting and spending, you may find that your relationship is stronger for it.

New Year, New Start – Budget Bootcamp

New Year resolutions are hard to keep – in fact; did you know most are abandoned within the first two weeks of the year? The same is also true of first-time budgets; which is why we at Creditaid are offering a FREE 5-Day Back to Basics Budget Bootcamp.

Bootcamps are known to be hard work. In order to become a champ, you will have to challenge yourself and push yourself beyond your limits. Once you do though, you will see and feel the results of your hard work – which is why we like the concept of a Budget Bootcamp so much!

Over the span of one week, we will help you create a budget that will work for you and your lifestyle and provide you with all the tools and advice you need to get you on the right track and keep you there. The process is not complicated; you just need to put in the effort.

We understand that budgeting isn’t easy, so we will show you how to work with the money that you have while remaining realistic. There are no quick fixes or shortcuts, just sensible, effective ways to manage your money. The course lasts five days, and by signing up you will receive an email on each of those days which will take you through simple steps to set up and maintain your daily, weekly and monthly budgets.

The sign up process is easy; there is just one form to fill in and then we’ll send you the first part of the series. We do not ask for any personal information other than your name and email address so that we can send you your 5-Day Back to Basics Budget Bootcamp emails. Once you have received part one, you can begin to get your spending under control. This is your opportunity to have a new year with a new start so sign up now!

Scared to Pick Up the Phone?

Do you panic every time the phone rings? At Creditaid, we help people take back control of their lives. Many of the people we have helped have been where you are today – too scared to answer the phone or check the mail when it is delivered, missing out on spending time with family or friends for fear of spending money that you don’t have. Life is too short to live in constant fear – it is time to take control, and start living your life again. Call to speak to one of our qualified counsellors who will walk you through each step of the way to becoming debt free – whenever you’re ready, just give us a call at 204-987-6890.

New Year’s Resolutions for Your Budget

A New Year’s resolution is often about learning from the mistakes you made in the previous year. This is especially true when it comes to budgeting. You can really get ahead of the game; setting yourself up for a debt free year. For a long-term budget, we have some great tips to include in your New Year’s resolution.

Planning Ahead
Don’t get taken by surprise when it comes to your finances. Remember last year when your car broke down, and you had to break into your budget to pay for the emergency repair? Well, to truth is, this coming year isn’t going to be any kinder to you. There will always be some emergency to deal with, so having a safety net is important. Saving a little extra for a rainy day will help you avoid having to pay for emergencies with your credit card!

Think About Your Small Purchases Too
Everyone has their little pleasures in life, but indulging in them doesn’t have to break your budget. If want to splurge on treats, make sure to keep the costs reasonable. If you like to drink coffee in cafés, try finding one that offers a loyalty card or rates. Most businesses today offer discounts, so try to reserve your splurges for occasions when you can get a deal.

Set Goals
Give yourself something to look forward to by setting budgeting or having saving goals. Don’t set your sights unrealistically high; instead take one goal that is achievable within a fixed time scale, and then focus on that. You can save for a car, new furniture, a clear credit card bill, or anything else that will give you a sense of achievement. When you reach your goal, remember to give yourself a pat on the back!

Do you worry when the phone rings?

Do you toss and turn at night, worry every time the phone rings or hesitate to check the mail for fear of seeing more bills? It’s time you start living your life again. Call us today.

Visit Us Today

The New Year is fast approaching – and it’s a great opportunity to take some time to think about what you would like to accomplish in 2014. If getting your finances back on track is on your list for the year, take this opportunity to drop by and see one of our counsellors.

We are available today and tomorrow –

Monday December 30th  9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Tuesday December 31st 8:00 am – 3:00 pm

Have a wonderful holiday season!