Credit Cards and Debt


Cutting credit cardsInvesting is all about making your money work for you and make you more money.  It’s almost a romantic notion to think about money coming to you that you didn’t “work” to get.

Much less romantic is the idea of getting out of debt.  Everything about debt is negative.  No one feels good about being in debt, and the idea of getting out of debt sounds like it will require a lot of pain and sacrifice.

When it comes down to it, investing while you’re still in debt doesn’t make a lot of sense.  Your debts come at the price of interest charges, and unlike investing, paying that interest is guaranteed.  Plus, without debt, you’d have much more cash to put towards your investments.

credit cardsCredit card debt has become a fact of life for most Canadians and Americans. The unfortunate reality in our society is that most people are not able to pay off their debts. According to David Trahair, in his recent book Crushing Debt, the average Canadian has approximately $25K in household consumer debt (credit cards and lines of credit). This amount was provided from a TransUnion independent report, and is in addition to any mortgage debt. It’s likely a similar scenario for Americans as well.

The TransUnion report also indicated that Canadians were using their lines of credit (LOC) and Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELIOC) to pay off their credit cards. In other words, many Canadians continued to use their credit cards and simply shifted the balance to the line of credit with its lower rate. Although Lines of Credit offer substantially lower rates than credit cards, the frightening fact is many Canadians and Americans are continually carrying a balance on their credit cards. For those who don’t have secured lines of credit, purchasing items now with the intent to pay later on their credit cards has become a way of life.