Jeffrey Schwartz
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Jeffrey Schwartz is the Executive Director of Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada and President of the Credit Association of Greater Toronto (CAGT). Consolidated Credit is a national non-profit credit counselling organization that teaches consumers about personal finance through web-based budget and debt analysis tools, financial literacy community outreach programs and in-person or telephone counselling. CAGT is a non-profit association with a mission to provide a dynamic forum in which members can share information and expertise.

Entries by Jeffrey Schwartz

Can't Afford a House? There's a Bright Side to Renting

(12) Comments | Posted March 31, 2015 | 12:43 PM

Brace yourself -- home buying season is kicking off.

Get ready for the real estate lawn signs, the open houses, and the gossip over how much your neighbour's house sold for.

There's a prevailing sense of home-buying mania in Canada, especially in Canada's real-estate crown-jewels of Vancouver and...

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Why Canada Shouldn't Start Feeling Financially Bulletproof

(3) Comments | Posted March 25, 2015 | 5:50 PM

Amid the usual torrent of news stories about record-high household debt, recently I read that the $1.85 trillion dollars that we collectively owe pales in comparison to our rising collective net wealth of $10.2 trillion. Interest rates are low, the stock market is bullish, and strong real estate...

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The Financial Truth Shall Set You Free

(1) Comments | Posted March 9, 2015 | 5:53 PM

In 2015, personal finance is still a taboo topic. We might live in a liberal country, but Canadians are not very open-minded when it comes to talking about our pocketbook. In fact, many of us downright lie.

A recent poll by Ipsos Reid shows only about half (49...

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What Canadians Really Think About Valentine's Day

(3) Comments | Posted February 12, 2015 | 4:53 PM


Valentine's Day can be a divisive holiday. While many consumers look forward to spending on their Christmas gifts and events, by comparison Valentine's can have the ring of a cash grab - much like Boss Appreciation Day, which is, apparently, also...

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Disability and Debt: When One Happens to Canadians, the Other Follows

(29) Comments | Posted January 31, 2015 | 11:39 AM

Phil Stewart-Burgoyne was earning great money in a highly specialized job: Driving a stand-up order-picker. He had a nice house and a strong credit rating -- life was good.

But he couldn't sleep. He heard loud music in his head, even though none was playing. In 2007, he asked his...

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Are You Suffering From Post-Holiday Bill Avoidance Disorder?

(1) Comments | Posted January 14, 2015 | 11:53 AM


When you've caught the last scraps of tinsel floating around the house, and your New Year's resolutions have fallen by the wayside, there's still a final holiday tradition left to enjoy: dreading the arrival of holiday bills. Yes, this time every year, thousands...

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The Biggest Personal Finance Fails of 2014 (And How to Avoid Them in 2015)

(3) Comments | Posted December 30, 2014 | 10:36 AM


December is a time for reflection, especially when it comes to your finances. The expensive holiday season -- think gifts, party outfits, and festive drinks -- means you're probably thinking about how to stick to a budget and keep costs down in 2014...

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'Tis the Season...for Identity Theft

(0) Comments | Posted November 27, 2014 | 7:15 AM

It's the most wonderful time of the year -- especially for online scammers.

Canadians are taking their gift buying to their keyboards this holiday season, with one-million households already shopping online in the past eight months. As Black Friday and Cyber Monday quickly approach, shoppers are starting to...

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Gen Y: Learn to Embrace Saving so Debt Doesn't Delay Your Plans

(2) Comments | Posted November 7, 2014 | 11:46 AM

Generation Y Canadians, born between 1980 and 1995, are constantly portrayed in the media as a generation burdened with financial issues, involving needing to pay back student debt and difficulties finding employment prospects after graduation. The effects of the Great Recession and a poor entry-level Canadian job market is making...

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How to Build an Emergency Fund

(2) Comments | Posted October 21, 2014 | 5:47 PM

I never cared for the phrase: "saving for a rainy day." What exactly is a "rainy day?" It's some kind of far-off, hazy problem that is perpetually on the horizon but never in front of us. Sure, you might put some cash away, here and there, but it's easy to...

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Four Bits of Personal Finance News Canadians Can Be Thankful For

(1) Comments | Posted October 7, 2014 | 12:40 PM

If you're a regular reader of my blog, you might notice that I often write about ways Canadians can avoid debt. I do this because there are some serious concerns about household debt in Canada -- Statistics Canada says that the average Canadian owes about $1.63 for every dollar they...

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Get Your Finances In Order Before You Retire

(2) Comments | Posted September 23, 2014 | 12:39 PM

Statistics Canada recently came out with some numbers confirming what we already know: Canadians are getting older. Projections show that the Canadian population could hit heights of 63.5 million by 2063. By then, there could be as many as 5 million Canucks over the age of 80, compared to 1.4...

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How Immigrants Can Lay Down Canadian Credit Roots

(1) Comments | Posted September 2, 2014 | 5:17 PM

Canada is a country that is proud of its multiculturalism. It was built on the backs of immigrants -- some who arrived a century ago, and some who arrived last year. People come to Canada with hopes and dreams of a better life full of financial prosperity -- but sometimes...

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This Is How You Plan For College and University Debt

(0) Comments | Posted August 18, 2014 | 11:59 AM

The next generation of college and university students has just a couple of more weeks until they are ushered into cramped dorms and massive lecture halls. For the previous 15 years, school had been a burden -- but at least it was free! Now, not only are the classes getting...

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What To Consider When Lending Money To Loved Ones

(11) Comments | Posted July 29, 2014 | 5:23 PM

Have you ever had one of your friends ask to borrow money from you? Most of us are willing to oblige when the amount is small -- like $10 or $20 -- but what about when the amount is more significant? You are placed in an extremely difficult spot when...

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How To Start Pulling Yourself Out of Debt

(5) Comments | Posted July 14, 2014 | 5:27 PM

In modern times, we pride ourselves on being open-minded and scoff at some of the social conventions that held power over previous generations. Topics like religion, sexual orientation and race are spoken about much more freely now than they ever were in the past. And yet, there is one taboo...

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Saving Tips for Canadians, Eh?

(2) Comments | Posted June 24, 2014 | 12:23 PM

She's grown in size since her birth and acquired some friends along the way. She's had some money troubles, gotten in a few fights and had her share of both good and bad times. She's maintained a fairly good relationship with her mother even though they aren't as close as...

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This Father's Day, All Your Dad Really Wants Are the Three B's

(0) Comments | Posted June 9, 2014 | 5:24 PM

The third Sunday in June is set aside as a day to honour our fathers for everything they have done for us. That includes, but is not limited to: killing spiders, playing catch, going fishing, cutting the grass, taking out the garbage, waking up for 7 am hockey practices, walking...

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We Can Learn a Lot About Saving Money From Victorian England

(4) Comments | Posted May 14, 2014 | 12:32 PM

A horse-drawn carriage rolls down the street, a chimney sweep heads off to work, and a chamber pot is emptied out of a second floor window. This is the image we have of the Victorian Era which got its name from the woman we celebrate each May, Queen Victoria.


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Thoughtful Mother's Day Gifts That Won't Break the Bank

(0) Comments | Posted May 7, 2014 | 8:39 AM

"It's the thought that counts." Your mother may have taught you those words when you were growing up because she wanted you to know that the price of a gift is not as important as the feeling behind it.

So, with Mother's Day right around the corner, Consolidated Credit...

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