Your financial health may have been impacted by the increased cost of living and rapid increases in interest rates. Taking stock of your financial situation and taking early and proactive steps to manage debt is an important part of finding solutions to your financial difficulties.
Review your budget
If you don’t have a budget, take some time to make one. Using a spending plan that lays out your income and expenses is an effective way to manage your day-to-day finances. It will help you figure out how much money you get, spend and save. By using a tool like the online budget planner from the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, you can create a snapshot of your situation and find suggestions tailored to your circumstances. It’s also a way to find out how much of your money goes towards paying debt.
Consult a financial advisor at your bank
Meeting with your bank to go over your financial situation and see where you can improve your financial health can be beneficial, especially if you feel overwhelmed. They could offer options to help you with your mortgage or credit card payments and work with you to come up with a debt repayment plan. Banks are expected to help individuals who are struggling to pay their mortgage due to exceptional circumstances.
Order a copy of your credit report
Your credit report is a summary of your credit history. Your report is created when you borrow money or apply for credit for the first time. It can give you a snapshot of your financial health from the point of view of lenders. Lenders send information about your accounts to the credit bureaus, also known as credit reporting agencies. You can access your report online for free from the two credit bureaus in Canada, Equifax and TransUnion. You can also use your credit report to check for signs of identity theft. It’s generally recommended that you order a copy once a year.
Learn more about how you can assess and improve your financial health at canada.ca/money