Fraud Prevention Month 2015

Fraud Prevention Month 2015

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Its Fraud Prevention Month 2015

fraud prevention month 2015
picture courtesy of Competition Bureau, Government of Canada

It’s fraud prevention month 2015 in March and Trusterra Mortgage will endeavor to provide relevant and informative content regarding how to avoid fraud.

To start fraud prevention month 2015 we would like to share tips from the Government of Canada Competition Bureau.

Tips to Protect Yourself from Fraud

  • Don’t be fooled by the promise of a valuable prize in return for a low-cost purchase.
  • Be extra cautious about calls, emails or mailings offering international bonds or lottery tickets, a portion of a foreign dignitary’s bank account, free vacations, credit repair or schemes with unlimited income potential.
  • Don’t be afraid to hang up the phone, delete the email or close your Internet connection.
  • Don’t purchase a product or service without carefully checking out the product, service and company.
  • Don’t be afraid to request further documentation from the caller so you can verify the validity of the company.
  • Don’t disclose personal information about your finances, bank accounts, credit cards, social insurance and driver’s license numbers to any business that can’t prove it is legitimate.
  • Shred unwanted personal information such as bank statements, credit card bills, unwanted receipts, cheques, pre-approved credit applications and old tax returns.
  • Check your credit report every year and report problems immediately.
  • If a scam artist contacts you, or if you’ve been defrauded: Report it! Your reports are vital to the anti-fraud efforts of law enforcement agencies.

 

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Managing Your Debt

Managing Your Debt

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Managing your debt

managing your debt

Income Status

Whether you are unemployed, employed, or self-employed, managing your debt is a very important matter that should not be put aside for a rainy day. Understandably, it can be very stressful and time consuming to worry about managing your debt, but it is one of those items on your ‘to-do-list’ that should be at the top of your list.

Temptations

It’s sometimes hard to avoid all those sales people in the malls’ and supermarkets promoting credit cards and other credit sources with all the ‘perks’ and ‘gifts’ that come with them when you apply for the credit card. Even at the university and college campuses across the country students are at times bombarded with advertisements of credit cards and loans. It is at these times that you need to be disciplined and focused on the more important and immediate things in life. Chances are that if you need extra credit cards and loans to purchase items, then you probably are not making enough money or are already to your credit limits. Psychologically we feel that the debt can be paid back on a monthly basis in the long term and we don’t worry about it. However, it is much harder to do this than it seems.

It’s Hard

Managing your debt therefore becomes strenuous, difficult, overwhelming, and depressing, affecting other areas of your life and let’s not forget the effects debt has on your personal relationships with those who you love the most.

Trusterra Mortgage sees the effects of debt in the mortgage industry as well. Many home owners who have maxed out on all their credit cards begin to have challenges in keeping up with their mortgage payments. If not addressed quickly, they see themselves with the risk of losing their home, one of, if not their largest personal investment.

Never Give Up

Don’t give up and don’t feel dismayed when thinking about managing your debt, because there are many different sources and resources out there ready to assist; they include Government agencies and private sector not for profit groups.

If you are having trouble with making your mortgage payments please Contact Us and we will do our best to see what options are available for you in resolving your debt issues. As well, if you are currently living with family, or renting a place, and are in debt, you too have options to managing your debt.

There is Light at the End of the Tunnel

If you are having difficulty and challenges in managing your debt, the following links will be of interest to you. Not sure about how to deal with your debts? It doesn’t hurt to send us a private message and its free consultation that we offer you.

Good luck and don’t forget to check out the below links.

Financial Consumer Agency of Canada – Empowering Canadian financial consumers and promoting responsible financial market conduct.

Industry Canada Office of Consumer Affairs – The Office of Consumer Affairs (OCA) promotes the interests and protection of Canadian consumers.

Canadian Association of Credit Counselling Services – Helps to establish a Canadian culture of responsible financial behavior and aims to enhance the personal financial well-being of all Canadians by strengthening their financial health.

Credit Counselling Society – The Credit Counselling Society is a Canadian registered, non profit service for consumers.

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How Many Credit Cards

How Many Credit Cards

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How Many Credit Cards is too many credit cards?

How many credit cards do you have? Are you the type of person who is good in controlling him or herself when it comes to spending with credit cards, or do you fill out every credit card application at every retailer for the sake of getting the gift that comes with it?

There is such a thing as having too many credit cards. Everyone should ask themselves how many credit cards they really need. In reality, you really need one or two credit cards; perhaps one Visa card and one MasterCard or American Express card. Most retailers, online shops, and other merchants accept Visa and MasterCard, so if you have one of each card you’re pretty well covered everywhere you go to buy things.

How many credit cards you need? We suggest no more than two. Here are some disadvantages of having too many credit cards:

  • The likelihood of losing a card can increase by having too many credit cards.
  • If you are not good with controlling your spending, you can easily max out on your credit cards.
  • Maxing out on credit cards is not healthy for your credit rating as your credit score will start to drop.
  • When time comes to apply for a loan, having too many credit cards can raise a red flag for the person or institution who is considering lending you money.
  • Having too many credit cards can create challenges in managing them and paying their balances on time each month, which in turn will negatively affect your credit rating.
  • Every time you apply for a credit card your credit report will take a hit; meaning, the credit card company has to check your credit report to make sure everything is good before they accept your credit card application. That hit to your credit report can affect your rating.

how many credit cards

 

Some people in their efforts of trying to help you out will consider how many credit cards you need based on whether you are newly starting to establish credit or not. That’s fine, but we still think having just two credit cards is enough to help with establishing credit history. Down the road you may, if your income can support it and your track record of paying back loans on time, consider getting a third credit card.

how many credit cards

 

In the context of building and strengthening your credit report and history with the credit bureaus, here is a ‘link‘ to Industry Canada talking about improving your credit score.

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Save Money for your Children

Save Money for your Children

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Save Money for your Children

November is Financial Literacy Month #FLM2014. In this post we wanted to raise awareness on the importance of parents setting aside money on a systematic and regular basis for their children’s future. To save money for your children is a noble thing to do. It show’s your detachment from money and your keen interest for the financial future wellbeing of your children. Naturally to save money for your children does not mean that you are supposed to pay their way for the rest of their lives. No. It means to save money for their future post-secondary educational plans. After all, it is still true that with education you empower people to do good things, to earn a livelihood and support oneself and loved ones.

save money for your children

There are certainly diverse set of ways to save money for your children. Perhaps the simplest way would be to just open a savings bank account and every month deposit predetermined amounts into the account and let compound interest work its magic.

The Government of Canada has created special plans just for children and their future.

Registered Education Savings Plan (RESPs).

Here is Canada Revenue Agency’s explanation.

A registered education savings plan (RESP) is a contract between an individual (the subscriber) and a      person or organization (the promoter).

Under the contract, the subscriber names one or more beneficiaries (the future student(s)) and agrees to make contributions for them, and the promoter agrees to pay educational assistance payments (EAPs) to the beneficiaries. For more information, see How an RESP works.

There are two different types of RESP available: family plans and specified plans.

Canada Learning Bond

CRA explains “the Canada Learning Bond offered by the Government of Canada helps parents get a head start in saving for their child’s education after high school.” Find out if your children are ‘ELIGIBLE.

Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG),

which is money that the Government of Canada will add to your child’s savings in a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP). To learn more about the program click on ‘LINK.

save money for your children

 

Many Canadian banking institutions also support and work with the Government of Canada in providing bank accounts and services towards its programs to help you the parent save money for your children. Visit their web sites to learn more about their services.

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Why Your Credit Score is Important

Why Your Credit Score is Important

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Why Your Credit Score is Important why your credit score is important

As part of our coverage of November Financial Literacy Month #FLM2014, in this blog we will share with you information about the importance of why your credit score is important.

In Canada, and the United States having a strong credit score or what we call in the industry a beacon score, with a rich history of on time debt repayment is very important and goes a long way when it comes to applying for a mortgage or any other type of a loan.

We will focus our discussion in this blog on the Canadian mortgage market and why your credit score is important.

If you have good credit it will be that much easier to get approved for a mortgage. Throughout your lifetime of spending and purchasing items using your credit card or a line of credit or both, and as well other credit items such as car loans, these transactions are all recorded by the two credit bureaus here in Canada, namely Equifax and Transunion. These credit bureaus use mathematical algorithms to create your credit score based on your spending, credit limits, credit balances, and whether you pay back on time every month your debt obligations or not. They even take to account how many days or months you are late with making your payments and use this information when building and updating your beacon score.

Equifax_Transunion

The reason why your credit score is important for getting approved for a loan, such as a mortgage, is because the creditor or the mortgagee relies on the credit report to decide your credit worthiness and repayment ability if they were to give you a loan or a mortgage respectively.

The starting point for your beacon score, once your name and first credit activity is recorded in the bureau’s database normally is 650. From this point onwards, it is hoped that the borrower pays back their loan or debt on a monthly basis, and as they do, their beacon score begins to climb; eventually rising above 700.

The opposite is true if the borrower cannot or does not make payments on time and is late, their credit score will start to drop below 650 making it difficult for them to get approved for a loan or a mortgage from traditional creditors / lenders. Many times borrowers with poor credit scores have no choice but to wait on their plans to buy a home and get a mortgage until their repayment history improves and their beacon score begins to rise again. Or they have to apply for a mortgage on unfavorable terms from a secondary or private lender who will charge a premium to approve the loan, but will overlook and be forgiving for the poor credit history and beacon score. The premium includes a much higher interest rate, lender fee, and shorter mortgage terms, normally one or two years. This is another reason why your credit score is important.

We always recommend that you pull your own credit reports from Equifax and Transunion every year or two to see what information about you is stored in their records. There are several advantages to doing this. Firstly by doing your own credit check to your name, there is no negative ‘hit’ to your beacon score unlike when you apply for a loan or a mortgage and the lender does a credit check on you. Secondly, you can see if your personal information is correct and up to date. Thirdly, you will get a detailed historical overview of your credit spending, which will show, for example, the payment you made on time to the particular credit card company or your car lease or whatever else, was actually reported by them and recorded in the credit report. An example of a potential issue is with old student loans or credit card accounts that you had asked to be closed. The student loan that you paid back in full is not shown to be paid off and still active in your credit report, and the credit card that you paid back and thought was closed is still showing as open with a balance in the credit report. These errors need to be corrected right away because they will have a negative impact on your beacon score. By doing a credit check you can find out about these abnormalities and rectify the matter.

This is why your credit score is important, because in Canada, for that matter in North America, much of the lending is based on the borrower’s credit strength and healthy history of making payments on time and being able to manage your debts responsibly.

If you are in a position right now with a low beacon score and bad credit history, and no major bank or lender will give you a credit card, we can help. Contact us and we will help you get a credit card so that you can start to rebuild your credit history and beacon score.

Another group of borrowers are those who are new to Canada and don’t have any credit history here and want to buy real estate right away. If you fall under this category, we can also help you get a mortgage without having a credit history or beacon score. Review our information about the New to Canada mortgage product and contact us for further details and to get your mortgage application process started.

why your credit score is important

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Mortgage Glossary

Mortgage Glossary

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Mortgage glossary – terms that you will like to know about

In the spirit of November’s Financial Literacy Month #FLM2014, we share with you Genworth Canada’s mortgage glossary, where you can search for all the main mortgage terms that come up in documents from banks and other lenders when getting a mortgage.

It can be confusing and intimidating when confronted with so many different strange or unfamiliar words that are not used in day to day conversation. The mortgage glossary can help alleviate this anxiety.

Sit down, relax, and enjoy your cup of coffee with a nice read through the Genworth Canada mortgage glossary page. Review the mortgage glossary of common phrases that new buyers need to know. Here’s an A-Z guide to the key mortgage jargon. Learning more mortgage terms will help you also when its time to purchase your home as you will be able to better understand your realtor. Even if you’re not ready yet to buy a place, but are starting to do research and check out the Bank web sites and the MLS, the mortgage glossary can help you navigate the world of financial and real estate vocabulary.

Here are some examples of words that can be found in the Genworth Canada Mortgage Glossary:

Closed mortgage

A mortgage that discourages prepayment privileges (making extra payments beyond the agreement terms, to pay your mortgage off faster). Closed mortgages allow prepayment privileges of no more than 10% of your mortgage each year.

Open mortgage

If you want to pay off your mortgage faster, you can make as many “extra” payments of any amount as you wish, with no penalty. “Extra” payments are called prepayment.

 

mortgage glossary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To learn more about Genworth Canada, visit their web site at http://homeownership.ca.

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Home Buying Defining Financial Terms

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Home Buying Defining Financial Terms

In the video Home Buying Defining Financial Terms, the Canadian Real Estate Association of Canada explains what the amortization period is. #FinancialLiteracyMonth


Home Buying Defining the Financial Terms

 

 

 

 

 

November is Financial Literacy Month and Trusterra Mortgage is here to spread the word about it.  When home buying defining financial terms is on your mind it is always important to seek all avenues of information and resources that are available across the world wide web and more importantly from industry professionals, such as #MortgageBrokers, MortgageAgents, #Realtors, and others.

At the federal level you can find more information about this initiative from the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada. You can also search for hashtag #FLM2014.

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Financial Literacy Month

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November is Financial Literacy Month

The Government of Canada has declared November to be Financial Literacy Month (FLM). On it’s national governing agency’s web site the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada FCAC states that “Financial literacy means having the knowledge, skills and confidence to make responsible financial decisions.”

Financial Literacy Month

More than ever more Canadian individuals and families are finding themselves in deeper levels of debt, making them sometimes feel lonely and helpless. The Canadian Government in its commitment to help Canadians manage or avoid debt, have created this month to be focused on education, financial knowledge creation and personal empowerment to take control of their financial future and health.

This years theme for Financial Literacy Month is Strengthening Financial Literacy through Collaboration. The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada emphasizes “the importance of coordinating efforts of organizations that offer programs, resources, information and services to help Canadians understand and manage their personal finances.”

In our commitment to Financial Literacy Month we will be sharing throughout the month information and resources about financial literacy. Make sure to return here regularly and check out our blog postings. We will also be active on our social media sources. You can follow us by clicking on our social media links above; including Google+, Facebook, Twitter, and many more (see above).

Remember that there is help available should you be stuck in a difficult place with debt management or other personal financial matters. Below are some links that you may find helpful:

Financial literacy self-assessment quiz

Find out how your money management skills measure up

Financial Goal Calculator

Use the Financial Goal Calculator to create a realistic plan to:
  • get out of debt
  • save for retirement
  • save for other priorities, such as education, a down payment, a vacation, an emergency fund and more.

Budget Calculator

Good budgeting and money management are the foundation for putting your finances on solid ground. Financial goals can be anything from saving for a purchase to paying down debt to saving for retirement.

Canadian Association of Credit Counselling Services

Helping Canadian’s establish a culture of responsible financial behaviour.

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