Good Debt versus Bad Debt
Not all debt is created equal – and not all debt is bad. In fact, you need some debt to establish a good credit rating. Being a responsible borrower means knowing which types of debt can help you reach your financial goals and which types leave you further behind.
Good debt includes any investment or purchase that helps improve your overall financial position. Mortgage loans are considered good debt because they offer low rates on property that appreciates in value over the long term. You also build equity as you pay down your mortgage. Borrowing to invest is also considered good debt. Often, the interest expense on money borrowed for investments is tax deductible. And when borrowing to maximize your RRSP, you're investing in your future and benefiting from tax sheltered investment growth.
Bad debt involves purchases where the value becomes lower than the original cost, and which can carry a high rate of interest, making them harder to pay off. Types of bad debt include high-interest credit card debt, car loans, deferred purchases, and cash advances.
If you're unsure about your debt situation, set up a meeting with your mortgage broker. He or she can take you through your finances and advise how you can use your home equity to trade bad debt for smart debt, and give you some financial breathing room. The right refinancing package can help put an end to the monthly squeeze of too much credit card debt or too many loans, and help you get back into your financial comfort zone.