It’s virtually impossible to get through life without taking on some debt.
Whether you’re negotiating a mortgage to finance your first home or turned to student loans to cover the cost of your education, you will be required to pay back money at some point in your life.
But how you manage this debt and establish good credit can be a balancing act.
“You can finance just about everything now, which is something you couldn’t do before,” says Cortni Blanchard, a Community Wealth Advisor with Meridian Credit Union.
Cortni, along with Branch Manager Penny Prior, will share their financial expertise April 3 as part of the Cambridge Chamber Commerce’s ongoing YIP Growth Learning Series. The topic of their session is ‘Managing Debt & Building Credit’.
“People borrowing beyond equity and going into debt because they are trying to ‘keep up with the Jones’ has gotten out of control,” says Penny, adding how her heart breaks when she sees people in their later years who can’t manage their finances after letting credit issues accumulate.
She says many people realize they have a problem but are unsure how to find a solution, noting flashy advertisements promoting businesses that claim they can easily solve your debt and credit issues only adds to the confusion.
“There are other options, but again it’s a lack of knowledge,” says Penny, adding she sees many people between the ages of 25 to 45 who are in financial trouble. “There are potential solutions, but they require discipline.”
She says in the past five years or so, people filing for bankruptcy as a way to end their financial troubles has become almost the social norm.
“It (bankruptcy) doesn’t seem such a bad thing like it used to be,” she says.
But both agree this just isn’t the case and that building financial security is important, especially for young adults.
“How do we get people in their early 20s to a place where they start building a net worth and explain why that’s important?” says Cortni.
Education, says Penny, is key and can help people develop good financial habits and be able to fix things when they go wrong.
The pair will touch on a variety of issues during their talk, including good credit vs. bad credit scores, how to improve them and budgeting.
“We want people to truly understand the power of credit and how it can make or break you,” says Penny.
The YIP (Young Innovative Professionals) Cambridge Managing Debt & Building Credit session, sponsored by Deluxe Payroll, will take place Wednesday, April 3, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Chamber office which is located at 750 Hespeler Rd.