Seniors playing with fire when taking on a big debt

The use and abuse of mortgages in retirement

Are retirees playing with fire? They could be if they decide to use money borrowed through a mortgage to supplement their other sources of retirement income. The most common ways those at or close to retirement do this is to hold a mortgage through their Locked-in Retirement Account (LIRA) or to borrow money against their home through a so-called “reverse mortgage.” But retirees should think long and hard before entering into either of these arrangements. READ MORE

How to rein in your credit card debt

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Tips for paying off the plastic

A recent report by credit agency TransUnion paints a scary picture. According to the study, of over 26 million Canadians carrying some sort of variable-rate consumer debt, some 718,000 would not have enough cash to continue making debt payments if interest rates rose one quarter of one percentage point. And Statistics Canada’s latest survey of household debt showed the debt service ratio at 14.15%, its highest point in seven years. Debt is emerging as a looming problem, and for many people, revolving credit card debt is the biggest problem of all. Here are some ways to cope with that little rectangle of plastic. READ MORE

How to escape the credit card crunch

When the holiday-spending credit card bills start coming in this month, some of us will pay off the balance to zero and calmly go on as before. Others – many others – among us will add it to the ever-growing pile of debt, try to make a minimum payment on at least one card, and start another year of debt anxiety and cash crunch. If you’re in the second group, here are a few tips on how you might get out of the credit card crunch. READ MORE