News Managing credit card debt becoming more important after interest rate hike SHARE ON: Brendan Pawliw, staff Friday, Jul. 13th, 2018 Residents in Northern BC are most likely to spend their money more freely now that it’s summer. However, the increased spending can also lead to credit card debt. People should prioritize their spending accordingly, especially if you plan on using a credit card. “I think if you want to buy that latte you should buy the latte if you want to go on a trip to the waterslides or something with your family or go camping for the weekend then you need to look elsewhere in your budget to reduce some spending, you just can’t continue spending in all areas especially if your using credit,” says Leah Drewcock, Licensed Insolvency Trustee with MNP. “The key is to really make sure that what your planning is within your budget. If you plan to have some fun and spend some extra money just prioritizing your expenses as well as starting a budget to make sure that it is in line with what you can afford to spend.” Some helpful tips can also steer people in the right direction, who might be struggling with credit card debt. “I would recommend always paying more than the minimum balance due on the credit card, the interest due rates continue to rise and when you are only paying the minimum sometimes you can even catch your limit and start exceeding your limit just on your interest rates.” “If your only paying that minimum balance you’re almost never going to get out of that debt, you really need to pay more than the minimum.” According to MNP in Prince George, 44% of Canadians are $200 a month or less away from insolvency. Drewcock says the issue isn’t that much better when looking across the province. “British Columbians in particular, have no wiggle room, after paying their bills and their debt obligation at the end of the month they are still maybe even $200 or less away from having to file bankruptcy or a proposal or maybe even missing payments or having to cut back on groceries or other necessities.” She adds paying off your debt can be a stressful experience, even after the Bank of Canada raised the interest rate this week to 1.5%.