Our members can tell you that making the call to OCCA to resolve debt is the first step in becoming debt free. We value our members and the relationships we build with them. We want to help them and all Canadians not just by resolving their debts, but by sharing tips and information that will help them be more responsible with their finances. Our blog is a useful tool to impart knowledge, valuable advice and testimonial stories about overcoming financial problems, managing a budget….and most importantly how to get out of debt.

Here are a few recent articles that touch on technology, debt collectors and debt in retirement:

Canadians Pay too Much for Phone, Internet and TV

A new study on affordability has been published showing the federal government needs to take action on how rising costs for phone, internet and television services are affecting consumers, especially the lower income consumers.

Low-income households are especially feeling the pinch. These households account for between 8 and 15 per cent of the population, depending on the measure, and an average of 7.6 per cent of their total annual expenditures is going to communications, exceeding spending on clothing, health-care and education.

Read more…

How to Disconnect from your Digital Devices

Have you ever thought your life was connected to a phone, a computer or to some other digital device? Do you constantly feel the urge to check your social media accounts to feel connected? Whether we are at home, at work or on vacation, the digital distractions can keep us from engaging with what is going around us.

The World Wide Web (WWW) can be a save us significant time with research and learning, but it can also steal time away from our families and friends when we are glued to the computer screen for too long. When you are texting or checking your emails, the more distracted you are….with everything you do.

Read more…

Canadians are still spending what they don’t have

Stop me if you’ve heard this before. Canadians are spending money they don’t have. Yes, the broken record keeps playing but Canadians are not listening to the music. Economists have been warning consumers for the last few years to pull in the reins on spending.

Despite the warnings, a new Statistics Canada report suggests Canadians are still over extending their spending habits and borrowing more than they can afford to pay back.

“If you’re in debt, it means that you don’t have a positive flow of income…You borrow $1,000 and you pay it back. Next month, you borrow $1,000 and pay it back. There’s going to be a month where you can’t pay it back,” says Ed Portelli of OCCA Consumer Debt Relief.

Read more…

Is the Debt Collector calling me Legitimate?

Have you ever wondered how a collection agency obtained your contact information? When a consumer has an account with a business that is “past due” or in default, the business may turn the account over to a collection agency. From that point, the collection agency can contact you to collect on an unpaid debt.
An increasing number of collection agencies, sometimes referred to as “debt buyers”, purchase debts from creditors for a percentage of the value of the debt and pursue the debtor for the full balance, sometimes plus “interest”.

Debt collectors who work on commission may be highly motivated to convince debtors to pay the debt. Some collectors may practice aggressive fear tactics, such as threats, to convince the debtor to pay their debt.

Read more…

How to Correct an Error on your Credit Report

A credit report is a record of your past and present use of credit and loans. It can mean the difference between getting approved or refused when you apply for a credit card, a mortgage or other loans. OCCA Consumer Debt Relief and The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) urges Canadians to order their credit report at least once a year and to review it carefully.
You can find out what your credit rating is by obtaining a credit report from a reputable credit bureau, such as Equifax or TransUnion.

In recent months, many Canadians have spotted errors on their credit reports, which can give creditors the wrong impression or can be a sign of fraud. Consumers have a right to dispute any information they believe is wrong. If you have identified an error, you can approach Canada’s Equifax Canada and TransUnion Canada for clarification.

Read more for tips on how to correct your credit report….

Dangers of Debt for Canadians over 55 Years

A financially secure retirement for Canadians 55+ is no longer an expected reality for many. Today more and more Canadians are finding themselves tied down with debt during retirement.

According to the Vanier Institute, bankruptcy rates for those aged 55 to 64 have increased by more than 600 percent over the last twenty years. Delaying retirement until debt has been paid off is no longer the trend. Now retirees are assuming new and more credit in their retirement with new mortgages and credit purchases.
According to a CIBC poll back in the summer of 2013, 59 per cent of retired Canadians are carrying debt. Among this group, 19 per cent say the amount of debt they are carrying has increased in the past 12 months.

Read more…


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