Real estate agents can talk about the upside of buying right now, but they don't explain the downside of carrying massive debt. Yes, you may build some equity if you purchase a home, but if you've mortgaged 90 per cent of it, very little of your payments in your first five to 10 years will go towards repaying principal.
The Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy just released their 2015 Annual Report of bankruptcies and consumer proposals in Canada and from these numbers we can see the impact shifts in the Canadian economy have on indebted Canadians. In 2015, 121,609 Canadians filed for insolvency, an increase of three per cent over the prior year.
Lenders have been using a person's credit report for years to judge their overall creditworthiness and the risk that they might default and become a bad debt. However, financial institutions often use another measure, a bankruptcy score, to refuse a loan application for someone who may otherwise have good credit.
To err is human. Mistakes can be a valuable learning opportunity, and sometimes, the bigger the mistake, the bigger your lesson will be. Lucky for us, there are plenty of people out there who made huge personal finance mistakes in 2015, and we have the benefit of being able to sit back and learn from them.
Consumers who file insolvency are in severe financial distress, but surprisingly this does not mean they are behind on their payments. According to Equifax Canada, about 70 per cent of consumer accounts are paid as agreed at the time the individual files for bankruptcy, and this is definitely consistent with what we see every day. More debtors are turning to subprime debt as a way of balancing payments. While any one payday loan, high cost instalment loan or low credit car loan will not necessarily lead to bankruptcy, it does begin a slippery slope and these loans are a primary indicator of an increasing percentage of insolvencies.
Looking at our study, the percentage of women filing bankruptcy who were living on their own, either because they were single, divorced or widowed, increased over the four year study period. The largest growth occurred in women who were divorced or separated. We also saw an alarming increase in the percentage of female single parents declaring bankruptcy.
Although aging Canadians were typically the most financially stable age group, older Canadians are piling up debt more quickly than other demographics. A recent study by the Vanier Institute of the Family showed that more than 70 percent of those aged 55 to 64 held some form of debt in 2012, up from 61 percent in 1999.
Conventional wisdom says that debt used to purchase something of lasting value, like an investment, or a house, or a car, is good debt, because you benefit from the purchase. An example of bad debt would be borrowing to go on vacation, because when the vacation is over you have nothing to show for it. In some cases both of these examples are true.
Small and medium-sized business owners are risk takers and dreamers. But most small and medium sized business owners are either unfamiliar with, or put off the purchase of Legal Expense Insurance. Though the benefits could mean the difference between success and bankruptcy, few are aware of the many compelling reasons for such a policy. Here are the top five reasons to look into legal expense coverage.