The average Canadian household debt hit a record high in the first quarter of 2012 and although the rate of its growth is slowing, debt continues be of grave concern. Statistics Canada says the Canadian household debt-to-income ratio climbed to a new high of 152 percent in the first quarter of 2012.
Credit unions offer easy-to-manage options in order to combine personal debt. They also help people to manage finances for a healthy financial future.
Smart credit card guidelines
- The average person spends 112 percent more on a credit card than they would if paying cash. If it is not an emergency, leave the credit card at home. Always use cash when possible.
- Have only one credit card. If you own more, cut them up and pay them off.
- Save hundreds of dollars each year in credit card interest charges by paying the balance every month. Try to avoid late payment and over-the-limit credit fees.
- If paying off the balance is not possible, pay as much as possible or switch to a card with a lower annual percentage rate.
- Pay more than the minimum payment due to save money and retire the loan quicker. The minimum amount is cleverly calculated to extend the debt for many years so that more interest is paid.
- Try to never charge disposable items on a credit card. Items such as food, gas and clothing should be paid with cash. Think about it this way – who wants to pay for a bag of milk for seven months?
- If you have more than one credit card debt, pay off the card with the smallest balance first. Then tackle your next smallest credit card balance. There is a great sense of accomplishment by paying off one credit card at a time.
To learn about credit cards and the credit union difference in the Waterloo Region, please contact the Education Credit Union or call 519-623-2211.