January is usually a tough financial month for most of us. Holiday bill payments, rrsp contributions, property tax bills and if you are self-employed, you probably have to make some sort of business tax or corporate tax payment. If December is the Holiday Season, then January feels like a hangover!
BANKS and Credit Card companies love this time of year because this is when we will normally carry a balance and have to pay those crazy interest rates that range from 9% to 24%. Wait, before you get too depressed, there could be a better option. There’s a less expensive way to manage your debt. Continue reading “Debt consolidation tip… just pay less interest!”
Last week, CBC’s Kathy Tomlinson made national headlines with her breaking story about TD charging car loan interest rates of 25%. Wow! Are you kidding me? The reaction was incredible and went viral. Over 4000 comments in just a few days.
Now, this doesn’t have anything to do directly with mortgages, but it’s relevant news given that TD is one of the largest BANKs in Canada. It also shows our Federal Govt’s lack of focus when it comes to different types of consumer debt. This should serve as a reminder that a BANK is a business. They aren’t your best friend. They want to maximize profits and are accountable to its shareholders.
The article reports that TD has approximately $14.3billion of indirect loans on its books brokered by dealers. With an estimated 25% of these loans being priced at subprime rates (subprime means higher rates for riskier borrowers), that would work out to around $500million in interest costs being collected by TD each and every year! Continue reading “TD car loan rates at 25%!! Over 4000 comments!”
A couple, in their 30’s, contacts me for a mortgage. They want to buy a new home. She is a teacher, he is a Manager at a computer firm. Incomes are good. I check their credit. Let’s stop here for a minute.. If they had good credit, an approval is simple and we would provide the clients with several mortgage options.
But let’s assume that this couple ran into some debt and credit issues 3 years ago… and they made 3 different choices about how to resolve those credit problems. Credit counselling, Consumer Proposal and Bankruptcy. And I’ll bet the results will surprise you…I want to take you through each scenario and show you how long each of these 3 options affect your ability to finance a home.. Continue reading “Credit counselling, Consumer proposal or Bankruptcy? I only like one of these options.”
There’s been a surge of ‘Best Rate’ sites popping up… Chances are, you’ve probably seen one or more of their online ads… You know the ones…‘shopping’ for the Best mortgage rates in Canada’ and ‘comparing Canada’s mortgage brokers for the best rate”. It does sound great… and it seems to be getting lots of attention… Even the media are covering and quoting these sites… And although I like that these sites promote how Mortgage Brokers can offer great rates, I’ve noticed some disturbing trends that you need to watch out for.
“I JUST WANT THE BEST RATE”
You say you want the ‘best rate’? Really? Or do you want to pay the least amount of money on your mortgage? I’ll bet it’s the latter. Make no mistake, these two things are very different and I’ll prove it. But let’s face it, the rate gets everyone’s attention.. Most people don’t want to hear anything beyond that.. until they get burned for $$thousands on the mortgage later on.
Now what if I told you that 80% of my clients were paying a rate of 1.35% during 2009 and 2010, would that get your attention? Of course. And it’s true. 80% of my clients were in a Variable Rate mortgage based on my recommendations….and almost all of them didn’t panic and lock into a fixed rate (like the BIG SIX BANKS wanted them to)…they stayed in those products based on my specific advice recommending they not lock into a Fixed rate…. That’s called being in the right product at the right time. My average client saved $6,000 during that time. Continue reading “So-called “Best Rate sites” are put to the test with shocking results.”
Two years ago I published, what would become, my most widely read article. Mortgage Penalties exposed…. an in-depth study reveals unjust penalties was written to show just how unfair penalties had become. The surprising results showed that the BIG SIX BANKS were the leaders when it came to charging the highest penalties in Canada. If you had a Fixed rate mortgage and thought your mortgage penalty could only be a 3 month interest charge, you were in for a huge shock.
Consumers were experiencing $10k, $15k, $20k and even $30k in prepayment penalties and more! Ridiculous amounts. Put another way, these penalties equaled 12, 16, 20 months worth of interest and sometimes more! But we also discovered some good news.. There are better alternatives to the BIG SIX BANKS.! There are several other Lenders that don’t use the same inflated and unfair prepayment penalty calculation as the BIG SIX BANKS. There are other Lenders with competitive, and often better, interest rates, and with much lower penalties. That original study opened the eyes of Canadian borrowers. (another eye-opening stat…the BIG SIX BANKS reported a record $30billion in combined profits for 2012.)
Two years later, with more consumers being forced into Fixed Rate products, we thought it was time to revisit Mortgage Penalties and see what changes had been made, if any…
Continue reading “Mortgage Penalties exposed… an in-depth study, part 2…the update.”