Personal Finances
Managing Debt


IndividualsLearn how to build a budget that works with these two helpful resources: Monthly Expense Tracker and Learn How To Budget.

When You Can't Pay Your Debts contains useful information from the Canadian Bar Association.

The Credit Counselling Society is a non-profit service that can help you manage money better, solve debt problems, and use credit responsibly. You can also speak to a real live person there by calling them at 1 888 527-8999 or by visiting one of their BC offices in Kelowna, New Westminster, Surrey, Nanaimo or Victoria.

If you are having trouble managing student loans, visit the StudentAidBC website.

Declaring personal bankruptcy is a serious decision with long-term ramifications. For information, visit the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy Canada website.  

Mortgages, Mortgage Rates, Reverse Mortgages

Many institutions lend money for mortgages, including banks, trust companies, credit unions, pension funds, insurance companies and finance companies. Shop around and speak with more than one lender because terms and options will vary. Some people find it helpful to use a mortgage broker. Mortgage brokers don't work for any specific lending institution. Their role is to find the lender with the terms and rates that will best suit the buyer. Find your local member of the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals.

Canada Mortgage and Housing has several helpful resources for those buying homes and multi-unit housing projects.

Before you apply for a mortgage loan to purchase your next home, check this Mortgage Affordability Calculator from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

A reverse mortgage through the CHIP Home Income Plan is an advance on the value of your home that accumulates interest. The accumulated debt does not need to be paid off until you die, sell the home or move out of the house. Reverse mortgages are available through most of Canada's chartered banks, many credit unions, and mortgage brokers.

Loans, Lines of Credit

A fixed-rate loan means that you borrow a set amount of money and repay it in fixed monthly installments over a specific time period. It is usually a good option if you need a given amount of money all at once.

A line of credit arranges for specific amount of money available to write cheques against. Payback is often interest-only payments allowed during the borrowing period. You will pay interest only on what you borrow - so if you don't borrow, you won't owe anything. A line of credit is useful for people who will be borrowing irregular amounts of money.

Credit Cards

Credit cards are convenient, but associated interest costs can lead to a troubled financial future. Learn more at:

Credit Cards: Flexible Friend or Foe?

Tips to Use a Credit Card But Not End Up in Debt