Bank Statements

There is one thing that I really like about living in South Korea: each month I am able to send literally half my pay home to go towards my various different debts, and still have way more than I need to live off of.Β 

I have a nice little checklist in my planner that I use to make sure that I get all my payments covered in one month. When I lived in Canada, I printed out a chart, laminated it and used it every month, changing the payment dates and amounts each time. Now, I only have 4 to make, but this one time I missed an OSAP (student loan) payment by mistake so I like the checklist. The lady who called about it was super awesome – since it was my first missed payment and I always pay more than required, she just deferred that payment to the end of my payment cycle, no harm done. I promised her I would never miss another payment – although I might, my loan is for like 15 years or something ridiculous like that (which is a normal repayment plan and it’s also why I always pay more).

I have a nice little system. I get paid on the 10th every month. My Korean bills (phone, internet) automatically come out before the 23rd. I get a paper statement around the 23rd, and then another paper statement around the 1st for gas/electric. When I get the statement around the 1st, I take out money to send home. This usually leaves me with around $900 in my account in Korea (from like the 4th until the 10th), and I send about the same home to pay Canadian bills on the 15th. It’s a great little system.

Today, since I’ve been doing this for 6 months now, I decided to see how much I have paid off on various different accounts. Currently I have 2 student loans and 2 credit cards. All of which have BARELY budged since I started sending money home from Korea. *I did pay off around $2700 on one credit card with my tax refund in March, but booking my $2400 plane tickets for vacation kind of killed that awesomeness*

It’s so frustrating!! I pride myself in being (somewhat) sensible with my money and when I am making payments to credit cards, I expect the balance to go down. Unless of course the minimum payment is $150 and $100 of that is interest and balance protection and all that crap. GAHH! I feel like I’m never going to get ahead of all of this. Not only that, I was hoping that I had made some improvement in the situation so that, in returning to Canada, I didn’t have to worry about making a certain amount of money each month just to survive.

I do have a nice savings account. But right now, all that money will probably be going towards a root canal that I am fearing being told I need to get. Even though my boss cheaped out and didn’t get me national health insurance here like he was legally obligated to do and therefore I don’t have dental insurance, a root canal full price will still be MUCH cheaper here than in Canada. About the same price as my dad was quoted using his insurance. So I will have to wait and see what my Canadian dentist says about my tooth.

I’ve been thinking of consolidating my debt once I return to Canada full time. Does anyone have any experience doing this? I feel like making one large payment every month is better than 4 substantial payments to 4 different companies all deducting their own interest from each payment…..

I am feeling so very defeated right now…

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15 thoughts on “Bank Statements

  1. Ohhhhh! Something I’m not useless at. Well- I have huge debt but that’s totally different and I know about stuff.

    One: credit card protection is a cost that you would do better putting the money towards your principal. Here’s why: down in the U.S., those plans pay off your whole balance if you: lose a limb, lose your job, all that stuff. In Canada’s rules, your protection only makes your minimum payments for you while you’re out of work, recovering from that lost limb or whatever. So- even if you’re suddenly out of work, your protection is only going to be paying 150 bucks per month or whatever. Take a look at what it costs you every month- what if you started putting that in a savings account, or paying the balance so your actual payments are lower if you get hit by that unemployment hazard… I get that it makes lots of people feel better… But it isn’t valuable for what you pay.

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  2. Second: consolidating is a good idea, I would suggest a line of credit from your bank. They are usually at least 1/2 the interest rate of a credit card- you might qualify because you have pretty good credit it sounds like- and then just cut one card in half and keep the open line for emergencies, and use your other card for conveniences

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  3. Third: check out where you’re putting your money. You’re paying extra on your student loan? Not the best move, even if it’s your highest debt. Look at your credit card interest rate. Usually 12,18,24% interest. If you owe 4000 dollars, you can be paying 1000 dollars interest a year! Phooey! Pay that shit down. Pay as much as you can onto the one with the highest interest first. Make minimum payments on the student loan- it’s your friend, it’s a low and long debt. It’s a fixed loan, which is better for your credit score. It’s seen as a bettering debt not just for Cheetos, so people looking at the report give you more leeway if they can affect the decisions they make. It’s “good debt” … Keep the lower interest cards and loans- and pay the minimums and throw all the money at the angry interest- because then the money is paying off the biggest worst most expensive debts first. You’re putting your money where it will work the fastest.

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    • Wow! So much good advice here! I have a student line of credit and then OSAP which i pay just above the minimums to help chip away. My credit cards have 20% interest on both so i do focus a lot of energy into them. I had to no idea about the balance protection differences though. Maybe i can get it sorted over my holiday….but part of me doesnt want to spend the time at the bank when i have friends to see lol.

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      • You should be able to just call the 1888 or 1800 number on the statement. The bank itself isn’t the provider, it’s an insurance company (that’s usually owned by the bank but it’s arms length so they can say it’s not them…) I used to work for a credit card company. Made me realize if I was a U.S. Resident, I would have it on everything/ it’s cheaper and you don’t have govt support like EI… In canada or Canadian banks and cards- the coverage is essentially expensive babysitting. It’s something I would put on if I knew in 5 months I would be laid off- because you even have to wait at least 3 months before claims and can’t have your lay off notice, and even then- they just maintain your credit, they don’t help the balance. So definitely something to look at, and you can call and write and get them to cancel it, and then they should take it off.

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          • I agree! Another thing you could do is see if your bank has a low interest option, and you can change the type of card you have. It usually comes with a yearly fee, but paying 30 dollars and not getting points for whatever is absolutely worth getting an 11% or 9.9% credit card or whatnot when you’re trying to pay it all down.

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            • I actually have done that a few times!! Thankfully I’ve been able to drop it for like 6 months without paying a fee since I had really good history with the company. But even then it didn’t make too much of a difference. Maybe I will try to squeeze in a bank appointment when I’m home lol

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  4. I have no credit cards. Just $8000 in student loans that I can barely make a dent in. The bachelors in liberal arts degree that did not much for me career wise. Those bastards will be hounding me when I’m 80 for their money. Or until I get a better paying job, or win the lotto. It sucks; I feel you. I don’t think I’ve ever consolidated. Not really sure what that is. I’m not very money/savings/loan savvy. πŸ™ƒπŸ™ƒ
    Good luck! To me, too….

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    • If you’re in canada and it’s a govt student loan the new legislation is that your balance shouldn’t haunt you more than 15 years. If it’s really old you can call and ask about debt forgiveness- my sister called and the province wrote off her entire loan, because her canada one was so big… And don’t forget to claim your interest paid on your income tax return!

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    • I wish I didn’t have any credit card debt! When I returned from Korean the first time I only had my student line of credit to pay off. Then I saved up and bought a car and had to use my credit card for some VERY expensive repairs. Then I went to school the 2nd time, OSAP and extended student line of credit, and then when I moved here this time, I sold my newer car but had $4000 left to pay on the loan after it was sold so I got another credit card to pay for it. It was a great set up since the interest was only 1.9% for 6 months.

      To consolidate means to merge all your debt into one big account. So instead of having 4 payments every month, each one having its own interest rate and other payments, I would only have one large payment. You pay off the principal faster. πŸ™‚

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