Bankers in the Great White North are less optimistic than our banking neighbours south of the border when it comes to credit card debt. A recent survey by analytics software firm FICO found that Canadian bankers are more concerned about credit card delinquencies than American bankers. With the household debt-to-income ratio at 162 per cent for the fourth quarter of 2014 in Canada, it should come as no surprise credit card debt is a major concern.
“Hello. According to our records, you’re eligible for an increase to your credit limit.”
Sounds familiar? Chances are you or someone you know has received this or a similar phone call before. Out of the blue you receive a call informing you that you can increase your credit limit. If it seems too good to be true, that’s because it usually is.
The Heartbleed bug has brought credit card security to the forefront. You may be aware there are some risks when using your credit card for online purchases, but there are also risks when using your credit card in brick-and-mortar retailers.
Last year, U.S. retailer Target announced 40 million credit card and debit card accounts were compromised. The breach occurred during the retailer’s busiest time, the holiday shopping season, marking the second largest credit card breach in U.S. history. Target revealed some Canadians shoppers may have had their personal information stolen as well.
We can’t seem to get enough of online shopping. Canadians spent a whopping $18.9 billion online in 2012, according to Statistics Canada. Over half of Canadians (56 per cent) made an online purchase, spending an average of $1,450 over 13 transactions. If you’re one of the millions of Canadians who shopped online, chances are you used your credit card at least once.
Last Monday news broke about the biggest internet security breach in history. The Heartbleed bug left the passwords of up to 66 per cent of all Internet accounts vulnerable. Earlier this week Canada Revenue Agency said that 900 SINs were stolen due to the bug. Not only are usernames and passwords fair game for hackers, credit card numbers are, too.
With the overnight lending rate frozen at 1% since September 2010, Canadians are taking advantage of ultra-low interest rates and piling on debt at record levels. While the much-touted debt-to-disposal income ratio dipped slightly in the fourth quarter of 2013 to 164%, Canadians are still dealing with a lot of debt – and that debt includes costly credit card debt, folks!
With the tax deadline of April 30th fast approaching, many Canadians are scrambling to file their taxes on time. If you’re one of the thousands of Canadians with a balance owning this year, did you know you can pay your taxes and earn reward points? That’s right, with an online payment platform called Plastiq you get the best of both worlds – you can rack up a lot of points and pay the taxman conveniently online via credit card. For self-employed individuals and those with large tax balances owing this can be a great way to earn points – as long as you pay off your balance in full and avoid costly interest.