Feeling the post-holiday financial squeeze? You’re not alone. January credit card bills are arriving to remind us how much we spent on the festive season. That’s why this is the perfect time to make sure you have the financial control you need to achieve your goals. Here are some strategies that can help:

1. Kill high-interest debt. If you’re carrying large credit card balances or other high-interest debt and have enough home equity, you may be able to consolidate that debt into one low-rate mortgage. You’ll improve your cash flow, and simplify your life with one easy payment. Best of all, you can pay down your debt faster and save thousands in interest. No more running up credit cards and you’re golden.

2. Boost your credit rating. You can improve your rating pretty quickly with a few smart moves. Always pay your bills on time. Never let your credit card balance go past the 50% mark, i.e. if you have a $5,000 card, it should never go past $2,500. That goes for any lines of credit, too. And don’t apply for store cards when you’re asked at check-out. The better your credit rating, the better the rates you can negotiate on your next mortgage.

3. Step up your payments. If you are paying your mortgage monthly, consider changing to accelerated bi-weekly or weekly, increasing your payment amount, and putting a lump sum such as tax refund money on your mortgage principal. You can save significant interest over the life of your mortgage. Even small amounts add up.

4. Renovate, don’t relocate. Feeling like it’s time to trade up? Consider this: the right renovation might be all it takes to turn the house you’re in, into the home of your dreams. It is almost always less expensive to renovate than to relocate! There are renovation financing options to help you improve the quality of your life while increasing the value of your home.

5. Choose low-interest debt. According to a recent Mortgage Professionals Canada survey, in 2016,
almost 10% of homeowners had enough home equity and turned to their mortgage for low-cost financing. The average equity take out was $47,600, which was used for renovations (31%), debt consolidation (28%), investments including second homes and rental properties (22%), and purchases or education (9%).

6. Do NOT sleepwalk through your mortgage renewal. Be sure to get in touch when you get a renewal notice. Your renewal is your golden moment to save thousands. I can help make sure you get the best possible deal!

If you’re feeling financially overwhelmed, or if there is a new purchase, refinance, or renewal in your financial future, get in touch so I can help make sure you get where you want to go.