Thinking of Buying?
Tips for Safeguarding Your Credit
Check Your Credit Report–You can contact Equifax and request a copy of your Credit Report by calling 1-800-465-7166 or by visiting equifax.ca. It is your responsibility to ensure that your Credit Report is accurate.
Stay Informed–Carefully read all credit contracts that you sign, as they are not all created equally. For example, some lenders classify payment as ‘late’ the day after it is due, while others allow a grace period of up to 30 days.
Set Up Automatic Payments–Set up automatic payments through your bank to ensure you do not lose track and accidentally miss a payment. It will be one less thing on your ‘to do’ list.
Pay Down Debt–Your credit balances should not exceed 70-80% of your available limits. If you are using more than that, it is a warning sign to lenders that you are relying too heavily on your credit to meet your financial obligations. Pay down your debts, and if possible pay for more items up front.
Be Careful Authorizing Credit Inquiries–Most people think that it’s alright to shop around for the best mortgage rate or to fill out a lot of credit card applications for free incentives like T-shirts, etc. By doing this, your Beacon Score can be lowered due to the number of inquiries into your credit history.
Tapping The Home for Retirement Income
Should I Stay or Should I Go?
With many Canadians heading toward retirement carrying debt, those who own homes may be forced to turn to their lodging for extra income.
However, some may not be eligible for home equity loans, leaving them with choices that include downsizing or a reverse mortgage. A survey on debt by Manulife Financial Corp. found that almost one in five Canadians expect to tap into home equity to top up their retirement income. Ten per cent of the respondents said they plan to remain in their houses and borrow against home equity, while a further eight per cent are considering downsizing and using the extra equity to generate retirement income. For more information on home ownership into retirement, talk to your CIR REALTOR®.