The Ontario government just announced a pilot project to test a basic income for low-income earners in Hamilton, Brantford, Lindsay and Thunder Bay. Will the program be successful? I have no idea. The answer will, in large part, depend on what will be measured.
Douglas Hoyes has extensive experience resolving financial issues for Canadian citizens as founder and trustee of Hoyes, Michalos & Associates . He is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), Licensed Trustee and Chartered Insolvency and Restructuring Professional and Business Valuator. He regularly comments on a variety of TV, radio and other media outlets on topics surrounding bankruptcy and consumer proposals. Hoyes previously held roles at PricewaterhouseCoopers and KPMG as a CPA. He testified before the Canadian Senate’s Banking, Trade and Commerce Committee in 2008. Doug also has been serving as an OSB (Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy) Oral Board Examiner since 2013.
Follow him on Twitter @doughoyes or on Google Plus
Follow him on Twitter @doughoyes or on Google Plus
Payday loans are a problem, because as all astute readers will have already surmised, "$18 on a hundred" isn't as good as it sounds. If you borrow and repay every two weeks, it is the equivalent of an annual interest rate of 468%. How does that impact borrowers?
02/22/2017 05:35 EST
As we start a new year, we have yet another new poll about how Canadians are once again listing paying down debt as their top financial priority for 2017. This survey, from the CIBC, says that for the seventh straight year concerns about debt were a top concern for most Canadians.
01/03/2017 02:00 EST
Under new mortgage rules just announced by Finance Minister Bill Morneau, all insured mortgage borrowers must now pass a "stress test" proving that they can carry a mortgage at a realistic rate (the Bank of Canada's conventional five-year fixed posted rate), and not simply the "teaser" rate offered for a short period by the mortgage lender.
10/04/2016 03:45 EDT
Obviously we should all do our best to live within our means and pay off our other debt, but if you have lost your job, or had a medical issue, or have gone through a divorce you may have more debt than you can handle, which is why an increasing number of Canadians are turning to solutions like a consumer proposal. What should the Ontario government have done to help address the specific problem of payday loans?
09/01/2016 01:11 EDT
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.
06/15/2016 10:49 EDT
Recently the Ontario government asked for comments on potential reductions in the maximum total cost of borrowing a payday loan in Ontario. In particular, the Ministry was recommending that the cost be reduced from the current $21 per $100 advanced, to either $15 per $100, $17 per $100 or $19 per $100.
05/25/2016 03:52 EDT
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.
05/03/2016 02:14 EDT
Equifax will combine credit histories, ratings, and mortgage information with Teranet's database of property values to offer lenders and financial institutions an assessment of a borrower's debt-to-asset value and home equity. This RESL metric will help lenders measure risk in the real estate market, allowing them to determine if they want to lend or not.
04/11/2016 10:59 EDT
I've had a few people say to me recently "If you have debt, just walk away; the banks won't do anything. My friend stopped paying, and nothing happened to him. Don't bother with credit counselling, or a consumer proposal, just walk away". Does that strategy actually work?
03/23/2016 11:32 EDT
While it is a worthy goal to maximize your savings prior to retirement, it is even more important that you retire debt free. If you retire and are still making payments on car loans, mortgages, or high interest rate debts like credit cards and payday loans you require a much higher income in retirement to survive.
02/25/2016 01:08 EST
Payday loan companies in Ontario can charge a maximum of $21 on every $100 borrowed. That may not sound like a lot, but if you take out that loan every two weeks, for a year, you will have paid $546, which is an annual interest rate of 546 per cent. That's a lot higher than even the highest credit card interest rate.
02/18/2016 02:32 EST
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.
01/18/2016 11:15 EST
If you are playing with debt in 2016, you have to hope that everything remains stable -- your job, your health, your interest costs, even your relationship. However, based on my experience, if you are in the at-risk category, the odds are against you.
01/05/2016 04:55 EST
New limits may force more borrowers to approach alternative lenders as a source for financing and may increase the percentage of parents taking out a second loan on their own home to help their adult children move into the housing market.
12/17/2015 03:51 EST
Here's the bottom line: too many students are burdened with excessive student debt and that hurts all of us, so a solution must be found, and the sooner the better.
07/19/2015 11:44 EDT
On July 1, 2015 the long awaited legislation regulating debt settlement services in Ontario comes into force. There are three main features of this new legislation that will impact Ontario consumers, with a ripple effect across the country. The biggest potential benefit to consumers will be the moratorium on up-front fees charged for no real service provided.
06/05/2015 07:54 EDT
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.
05/05/2015 12:16 EDT
Thanks to the government of Canada (and most other governments around the world) pushing interest rates to very low levels, there appears to be no point in saving money. Banks pay zero interest on a typical savings account, and GICs aren't much better. What's the point of saving?
01/30/2015 08:11 EST
Since peaking in July 2007, prior to the 2008 credit crisis, interest rates have fallen and have remained at their lowest level in two generations. Experts predict that this could be the year that interest rates finally start to increase. The question is, should we really care?
01/14/2015 09:07 EST
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