We get it financial stuff is dull, and it often feels like it can wait another day until it has to be dealt with. Unfortunately, leaving financial issues to the last moment often makes circumstances much worse. We’re sure that there are at least a few financial to-dos that you can cross off your list in under an hour, especially nowadays when most financial services are available online, some 24-7. Once you crossed a handful off your list, it can get pretty addictive, and before you know it, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment that you’ve completed all these tedious but essential financial tasks.
The first thing to do is separate your financial to-do list from your general one so you can then concentrate on the important issues, namely your money, rather than trivial tasks. So, brush the cobwebs off your to-do list and discover the 10 things you need to do now to get your finances in order.
Schedule a Check-up with Your Financial Advisor
You don’t have to see a doctor in order to stay in shape, so why should it be any different for your finances? Take the time to schedule a check-up with your financial advisor. During this session, your advisor can offer a wide range of personalized financial advice, such as what type of financial products are best for you, how you can optimize your retirement plan, and how to take care of your life insurance. If you don’t have a financial advisor, you can visit anorak.life to find out more info.
You’ll also have the opportunity to discuss any concerns, get advice on how to tackle them, or have your advisor conduct a review of your current financial portfolio. Of course, scheduling an appointment with a financial advisor isn’t as easy as just dialing a phone number. It’s important that you choose the right financial advisor for you, someone you trust, and someone you can work with on an ongoing basis.
Update Your Will
We all know that something is going to happen to us one day, but this doesn’t mean that we’re ready for it. This might explain why only a third of Canadians have an up-to-date will. There are so many different reasons why your will should be up to date and one of the most important things your will can do is name a guardian for your children, so you want to make sure that you get this right. You should also make sure that your will is legally valid and updated with the latest information, such as changes in your assets, your relationships, and your relatives.
If you don’t have a will yet, you can use our guide to creating a basic will, or you can take advantage of a free will-writing service. This service lets you create a legally valid will in just 5 minutes.
Review Your Credit Report
Finding out that your credit report contains incorrect or incomplete information is never good news, but it’s an especially bad situation if you have an important loan coming up soon or if you plan to purchase a home. Your credit report contains information about how you manage your credit and repayments, as well as information about any fraud or identity theft you might be experiencing. This means that inaccurate or incorrect information can confuse lenders and cause them to avoid working with you, or in the case of identity theft, might lead to legal cases and fines that affect your finances in the long run.
Checking your credit report is free once every year, otherwise, it costs $15 for each subsequent check within the same year. You can request your credit report from Equifax Canada and TransUnion here. You can also request it in writing from the company that issued it to you, or ask your financial institution for details about your credit report.
Check Your Credit Score
Your credit score is one of the most important factors for lenders that are deciding whether to offer you a loan and at what interest rate. If you want to know what kind of rates you can expect to pay when applying for loans like mortgages, car loans and credit cards, you need to know your credit score.
Your credit score is based on the information in your credit report and it uses a specific system to determine how likely you are to meet your repayments on time and how much money you might be able to borrow. Having a good credit score can lead to lower interest rates and a greater possibility of approval from lenders, but if you have a low credit score, you might be limited to borrowing less money or it might be harder for you to get approved for loans at all.
Fortunately, checking your credit score is easy7 and completely free. You can check it by ordering your free credit report from Equifax Canada and TransUnion here. You can also request it in writing from the company that issued it to you, or ask your financial institution for details about your credit score. In addition, most banks offer free credit score tracking tools, most of which are available online. The most popular of these include Credit Karma and Credit Sesame, both of which offer scores from TransUnion Canada. Alternatively, you can use Mogo or RateSupermarket to find loans or lenders with the best rates. These sites feature comparison charts that list average interest rates based on things like whether you’re a new immigrant or student loan borrower, and how much money you want to borrow (such as $20,000 or $100,000). If you want to find out how long it takes to get approved for a loan based on your credit score, Mogo also offers this data in its comparison chart.
Assess Your Credit Card Usage
Many people use credit cards without really thinking about it or realizing it’s true cost. When you use a credit card, you’re essentially borrowing money from the card issuer and you have to pay it back with interest. The interest rates on credit cards can be extremely high and they range from 10% (if you borrow $1,000 and pay it back over a year) to over 30% (if you borrow $5,000 and pay it back over 5 years).
If you carry a balance on your credit card each month (meaning that you don’t pay off your bill in full), the interest charges will end up costing much more than the actual purchase itself (and this doesn’t include transaction fees). For example, if you make a $1,000 purchase on your credit card with an interest rate of 18% and you don’t pay off the whole balance in one month (which happens more often than people think), then the interest charges would be around $180, nearly double what you paid for interest in the original purchase!
Of course, if you have to use your credit card for emergency purchases or if you don’t have enough cash to purchase something that you need (like rent), then it makes sense to use your credit card if it helps keep you from going into debt or overdrawing your account. There are plenty of ways to pay off credit card debt just be sure not to extend the payment period any longer than absolutely necessary, and pay off the balance as soon as possible so that you don’t lose out on interest charges.
Make Sure Your Credit Report Isn’t Wrong or Missing Anything Important
Your credit report is one of the most important documents for lenders when they’re thinking about whether to approve you for a loan or another credit product (like a car loan). The information in there is used by nearly every lender so if something goes wrong there – like if there’s incorrect information or if crucial information has been left out – then it can affect whether or not you can borrow money at all.
In fact, inaccuracies in your credit report can lead to serious consequences like having trouble getting approved for loans at all, higher interest rates when applying for loans or even identity theft if someone tries to open an account in your name by using information from your report.
As you can see there are many ways to sort out and go through your financial to-do list step by step. Hiring a financial advisor to sort these things out for you is best if you don’t understand them completely or just don’t have the time to do these things on your own. If you can’t afford this option then there are plenty of ways you can do this yourself. Make sure your will is kept up-to-date, review your credit report yourself, keep up with your credit score, and make sure to keep track of your credit card and how much you’re actually spending. While these things sound complicated, they are much easier than they sound. If you are someone who always has something to do on their financial to-do list, take some time to get them done so you can stay on top of them and keep these tips in mind as they can help enormously.
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