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Navigating Past CERB Life – Tips from Loans Canada

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) along with Employment Insurance (EI) are lifelines that kept many financially afloat during the height of the pandemic. However, CERB and EI have finite dates and those without jobs to return to must make some difficult choices.
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Young couple planning family budget with laptop computer.

“Once the final CERB payments are received, Canadians who are still struggling to meet their financial obligations need to focus on solutions that will work for their unique lifestyle,” explains Caitlin Wood, Chief Content Officer for Loans Canada and Rate Genie. Unfortunately, there is no one size fits all solution. Canadians must stay organized, be honest with themselves, and seek professional guidance when needed.”

One avenue of professional help is found through Loans Canada, the top platform for getting customized quotes on a variety of debt products. Loans Canada operates from a place of empowering its clients, offering an online learning centre, and detailed information about how to apply for the CERB, apply for EI assistance, or access other COVID-19 resources.

“While more people are starting to work, there are still people who may still be unemployed. The CERB has been extended, but that too will end. Now is the time to ask yourself, how do you continue living post CERB?” says Wood.

Getting ready for life after the CERB

The first step is to check your EI eligibility, as it can be accessed after the CERB runs out. Learn how much you quality for, and work that into your interim budget.

Be very proactive in re-securing a steady income. Your job hunt must be aggressive. Sign up for job alerts. Consider retraining in a new career path. Register with an employment firm. Join multiple job search aggregators like Indeed and Monster.

Take a hard and honest look at your budget. Adjust your variable spending by canceling subscription services like Netflix. Switch to pay-as-you-drive car insurance if you don’t have a commute. Increase the cash coming in by taking on a roommate, babysitting, mowing lawns, etc.

Addressing debt and getting help

Although it’s difficult to think about during a time when income isn’t coming in, prioritize your debts. Failure to do so will negate a lot of your financial progress, since the interest on your debt can quickly spiral out of control.

It’s okay to ask for help when you need it. Debt is intimidating and can make you feel lost and hopeless. A credit counsellor gets you back on the right track and shows you a clear plan for regaining financial control. Speak to a credit counsellor who can help you determine which creditor to pay off first, and if you should use the debt snowball or debt avalanche method.

Credit counsellors also show you how to create a realistic budget, track your spending, and set up automatic payments. Credit counsellors empower you to find the tools that will help you pay off your debt faster; you may benefit from a personal loan with a lower interest rate, a loan consolidation, or a consumer proposal.

Talk to your bank

Your bank is another support to leverage as you plan your post CERB life. Many banks and lending institutions are offering lower rates, mortgage relief, and payment deferrals of up to six months or more.

Rates matter

When addressing debt, credit, and investing, rates matter. The lower the rate on your interest, the faster you can pay off the debt. The higher the rate on your investments, the faster you reach your savings goals. Rate Genie conveniently allows you to quickly compare rates across multiple lenders for insurance, credit cards, investing, and banking.

Act now to get ready for your post CERB life

They key to navigating your post CERB life is to take action now – and you don’t have to go it alone. Work with Loans Canada, Rate Genie, a credit counsellor, and your bank to address your existing situation, and to plan for a stronger financial future.

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