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Latest blog articles

How and When to Cancel a Credit Card
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Cancel That Credit Card?


_confused-man.gifif you have more credit than you need? Should you cancel an unused card, or keep it? How does canceling a credit card affect your credit rating? Take a look with us at the answers to some of these common questions.

Understanding credit utilization

To know whether you should cancel an unused credit card, you first have to understand the concept of "credit utilization" (otherwise known as your "debt-to-credit ratio"). This is the ratio of the credit you use compared to the amount of credit available to you.

A major factor in determining your credit score is this utilization rate – not the size of your credit limits or the amount you have charged to your cards. What matters is the...

The Early Warning Signs of Debt
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Overwhelming debt seems to catch people by surprise, but there are a few early warning signs of an impending credit problem that you should be aware of. Once you know what to look for, be quick to take action and turn your finances around.

Who’s the most likely to fall into debt?

According to Where Has the Money Gone?, a report released earlier this year by the Certified General Accountants Association of Canada, there are several demographic groups that are most likely to have credit problems. These are:

  • Young people
  • Households with children
  • Low-income...
Can Credit Repair Companies Really "Fix Your Credit"?
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Advertisements by companies promising to "fix your credit score" are in newspapers, in your mailbox, and on the internet. How many times have we seen the line, "We can erase your bad credit"? No matter how bleak your credit report may seem, don't believe those statements. There's only one road to take in order to clear bad credit: Create a personal debt repayment plan, stick to it, and be patient.

Be warned

These "credit repair" companies understand basic human psychology: When we feel trapped and hopeless, we become vulnerable. Once in that state of mind, the promise of credit repair becomes exceedingly tempting. But crossing that line may only bring about another debt – to that company.

If you choose to respond to a credit repair offer, beware of companies that:

  • Tell you to pay up front before any service is provided.
  • Tell you to dispute everything in...
variable rate mortgages or “lock-in”
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Today we’re going to quickly go over variable rate mortgages and the convertibility or “lock-in” feature that you get with most variable rate mortgages. I personally am a huge fan of variable rates and I would take a variable mortgage myself, however I find that a lot of people who are considering a variable are actually considering it for the wrong reasons and the convertibility feature is the main one.

In a variable mortgage, as you know, the rate will go up and down with the prime rate changes meaning every month you could be paying more or less. This uncertainty means that in the future you might be paying more than you started out with and if you don’t have more income or you have been spending all of your savings you might get yourself in a bit of trouble. Here’s where the convertibility feature comes into, supposedly, save the day, you can lock your mortgage into a fixed rate at any time with...

5 Steps to Get a Good Mortgage Now
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With interest rates at historic lows and housing prices dropping, the thought of purchasing your first home – or trading up to a larger one – has likely crossed your mind. Before you sign on the dotted line, however, keep these tips in mind when hunting down the best mortgage deal:

1. Get your credit up to snuff

While interest rates are great right now, banks and lenders are tightening up their guidelines, reserving the better deals for homebuyers with a 700 score or higher. Order a free credit report from Equifax and 5876237233 a few months before you start your house hunt.  This will give you time to ensure there are no mistakes – or outstanding debts – dragging down your credit rating.

2. Do your research

Knowledge is power. Understanding...

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