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Managing debt is a full-time job. And knowing the right shortcuts to properly managing it can keep a lot more money in your wallet over time.

One secret to efficiently managing debt, is to ensure you always pay your bills on time, either before or right at the due date. And while it is always better to pay your balance in full, at the very least make sure the monthly minimum payments are made.

Also try not to exceed the credit limit set on your credit card. By doing so you will be incurring added penalties, additional interest charges, AND quite possibly a jump in your annual interest rate (which will end up costing you more).

Reduce debts in CanadaIf you’ve been having trouble obtaining credit, start building up credit over time by acquiring a secured card (this is a credit card where you have provided collateral to cover the balance outstanding on the card). There are many items which could be considered collateral by a lender, including a reasonable cash deposit or a GIC. When the get the card, use it sparingly but use it each month, then ensure you pay off the small balance incurred in full each month on time to quickly build an R1 (best case) credit rating.

Remember: There is no better way to improve your credit than to prove that you are now responsible with credit by making regular payments. After a period of time, your credit history will reflect regular use and responsible repayment of credit. You will then be well on your way to a perfect credit score.

Consumer Proposal: an opportunity to reduce debt

Consumer Proposal permits you to clear up your current unsecured debt, by settling with your creditors for a tiny percentage of what you really owe them. You stretch your payments over a multi-year period to make them manageable, and when you finish your Consumer Proposal you will be debt-free. You could then continue to complete your mortgage and buy your new home, without fretting about striking that optimal personal debt ceiling the Federal Government has actually enforced with its new rules.

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