Strategies to Chip Away at Debt During the Pandemic.
Like many Canadians, the Covid-19 pandemic could find you dealing with a lot of debt. It might all seem overwhelming. But you can stop this health crisis from becoming your financial crisis with some planning and a smart strategy.
As the months of this pandemic continue, don’t take your eye off the financial ball. Stay focused to feel more in control of the future. Begin with a realistic budget that fits your circumstance and plot your cash flow; separate your critical needs from discretionary wants.
If you pare expenses down to the essentials—such as health, housing and food—you can more easily spot some opportunities. Be sure to allow for increased costs, in food and other expenses, that have come out of today’s crisis.
Earn less, spend less
If your income drops, resist self-soothing with some retail therapy, and avoid piling on more debt. Instead, find smart ways to support your mental health with some free fun and a few low-cost treats.
Is it time to tap that emergency fund?
Consider the interest rate you’re accruing, compared to what you’re being charged, and decide strategically. Target bills with the highest interest. Negotiate others, such as educational loans and utilities, to delay, extend, or adjust payments; often without accruing more interest.
Lenders are offering some support programs during this stressful time, and it could free up cash flow. Why not give them a call or do an online chat to discuss options?
There are ‘hardship’ programs to delay payments without penalty. But be sure to ask about any financial consequences; and confirm they won’t affect your credit rating. You could also negotiate rent reductions with a landlord, or have the insurance reduced for an unused second car.
If you’re seriously squeezed financially, protect your credit rating by approaching lenders before it gets bad. Make sure you have a clear understanding–with no penalty–before you skip any payments.
Find more money:
In April, the federal government introduced a supplementary goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) payment. Up to $600 is available; you need a current income tax return to be assessed. This is in addition to the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, and other wage subsidies. Visit www.canada.ca to check these out.
These are unsettling times, but it will end one day soon. Smart choices made today can ensure you come out of it in a great position to get back into strong financial health.
Schedule a call me to review your financial situation.