If you are considering co-signing for a loan, credit card or line of credit with another person, it is imperative to research your responsibilities. If you co-sign, the lender will consider you to be a joint borrower, and you become equally responsible for repaying any balances owing on the loan. If the primary borrower is unable to pay the debt, the bank or lender can demand that any borrower and or co-signer listed on the loan or credit agreement pay the entire amount. Also, keep in mind, for certain credit cards, the terms may state that authorized users such as, for example, secondary cardholders can be held responsible for any outstanding balances, even if they did not sign the credit card application. Be sure to read the credit agreement carefully and make sure that you fully understand who is responsible. If you aren’t sure, ask.
If you decide to co-sign for a loan, credit card or line of credit from a federally regulated financial institution, you also have the right to receive the same information about the loan from the lender. For example, if you co-sign for a credit card with another person, the lender must give each of you copies of the credit agreement and the monthly statements, unless you consent to waive this right. This, in turn, allows you to keep track of the status of the loan—whether the other borrower is making payments or if the terms and conditions have changed. In order to guarantee you protect yourself as a co-signer, ask the primary borrower to purchase insurance to pay back the debt in the unfortunate circumstance they pass away. In this circumstance, the primary borrower can name you as the beneficiary on a life insurance policy for an amount that will allow you to pay back the loan. In sum, understand your rights and responsibilities before you co-sign and be certain you read the loan agreement carefully to protect yourself from financial disaster.
Ontario Drug Benefit Programs:Each year, millions of Ontario residents receive drug benefits from Ontario’s drug programs. The province has five different programs seniors can apply for depending on needs: Ontario Drug Benefit Program (ODB), if eligible, may pay for the majority of cost of your prescription drugs, New Drugs Funding Program for Cancer Care (NDFP) may cover the costs of newer intravenous cancer drugs. Third, the Special Drugs Program (SDP) may provide funding for specific drugs used for certain diseases and conditions. Fourth, inherited metabolic diseases program (IMD) may pay for certain drugs, appropriate supplements and specialized food to treat metabolic disorders. Finally, the government offers the Visudyne Program, this program may pay for the specific drug that slows the eye disease called age related macular degeneration. It is important to find out if you are eligible and apply to these programs because the cost of your prescription drugs may be covered by the province of Ontario.
Trillium Drug Program: This program helps people who have high prescription drug costs relative to their household income. You will however have to pay a small amount 4 times per year and this is called a deductible. The amount of your deductible is based on your household income. For most people, the deductible equals about 4% of your household’s combined net income. In addition, if you have high prescription drug costs and a low household income you may be eligible to pay $2 or less for every prescription. The pharmacist will charge you this fee and the fee is called a co-payment. You need to download: Application for Ontario Drug Benefits and the information package: A Guide to your Application: Ontario Drug Benefit (ODB).
Reduced Co-Payment for Lower Income Seniors: It is important to research all possibilities for tax credits and benefits—particularly when you are a senior.Depending on your annual income, you may be able to have the ODB $100 annual deductible waived and have your co-payment reduced per prescription.
Ontario Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS): If you are 65 years old or older and receive the federal Old Age Security pension and the Guaranteed Income Supplement payments, you could get up to a maximum of $83 per month to ensure your income stays above a certain amount. GAINS ensures a guaranteed minimum income for Ontario seniors by providing monthly payments to individuals who qualify. The monthly GAINS payments are on top of the federal Old Age Security (OAS) pension and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) payments you may receive.
Strong Communities Rent Supplement Program: Low to moderate income households, including those requiring support services, can apply for a rent-geared-to-income subsidy to help make housing affordable.
People tend to react after the fact to financial problems and debt rather than take preventative measures. For example, people tend to be in denial or avoid their financial problems until the problems are so bad, it is difficult to help solve the problems.
Asking for help could be the first step to financial freedom and uncovering the root of financial woes. Deciding to become financially responsible is not a taboo subject. It shows you want to be in control of your financial future and many people are in your situation or have been at some point in their life—you may be surprised how many people can relate to your situation.
Seeking professional financial help can make a huge difference when dealing with debt problems and achieving a peaceful state of mind. Do not leave financial uncertainty hanging over your head. Take the preventative approach to your financial future today.
Write a vision about how you want to live your life in retirement. Try your best to retire debt-free, including the mortgage on your house. Postponing CPP benefits until you are 70 will allow you to increase the amount you receive. Ask a financial planner to help you figure out what is best for you.