Surprise Rate Hike Signals Time To Reduce Debt

2017-09-19   minute read

Debt Solutions

MNP Consumer Debt Index

Canadians considering taking on more debt over the near or long term may want to think twice. In fact, those carrying any debt at all should start making plans to reduce it as quickly as possible. The message was loud and clear as the Bank of Canada unexpectedly raised interest rates on August 30 – the second such move in as many months. With another increase expected as soon as October, people across the country should brace themselves for an upward trend expected to continue for the foreseeable future.

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Anyone carrying variable rate debt – including mortgages, loans, lines of credit and credit cards – will feel the sting almost immediately. Especially as the high spending and typically credit-heavy holiday season fast approaches. But even those currently enjoying the relative comfort of fixed rates should not consider themselves immune. When it comes time to renew, they could be looking at a return to pre-2008 lending; potentially two to three times higher than they are paying right now.

Frighteningly, nearly half of all Canadians are already living paycheque to paycheque. That means millions of people will need to ask themselves how or if they can cope with potentially hundreds of dollars in added monthly payments. If they don’t take immediate steps to cut spending and lower their overall debt burden, many could find themselves facing an insolvency situation.

Regardless of your current financial situation, every debtholder in the country will see their purse strings tighten over the coming months. If you haven’t already, now is the time to start drafting a monthly budget. Put off any large purchases if you can and lock in your interest rates while they’re still historically low. Find ways to cut costs wherever possible and use those savings to pay down the principal on your debts. If you already feel overwhelmed by debt or if you have taken the above steps and are still worried about how you’re going to manage, professional advice may help you uncover some further debt reduction options.

An original article discussing the recent interest rate hike was published online on September 7, 2017.

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