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Credit health improving across Canada
July 4, 2012 - 1:19pm
Overall credit health in Canada has been improving for the least several years. Consumers across the country have had lower delinquency and bankruptcy rates and credit scores have been rebounding since their dip in 2009, Equifax Canada's president Carol Gray told The Globe and Mail.
Aside from a slowly rebounding economy, one major reason for this is recent credit card regulations. Lenders are no longer able to offer very low teaser rates to entice borrowers and contracts have been simplified and made more easily understood, according to Gray.
As Canadians learn more about credit card debt and how to combat it, they are continuing to show improvements in paying bills on time and keeping them manageable. This knowledge is helping individuals stay away from debt-related pitfalls that have plagued them in the past.
"Government plays an important role overall in their policy setting, but at the end of the day if the consumer can be informed and then empowered, that is the best way to avoid problems," Gray told the source.
With this empowerment comes an increased willingness for consumers to use their credit cards for daily purchases. Being less fearful of delinquency and debt can encourage Canadians to use plastic in situations they used to use cash.
For merchants, this means that having pos systems that accept credit cards is crucial. Allowing consumers to complete transaction however they want helps make them feel more positively about a business or store.
Security is another aspect of credit cards that has been improving recently, according to Gray. Services such as identity-monitoring services - which notify consumers if anyone tries to access their credit report - have helped give the confidence that their accounts are uncompromised.
Combined, increased confidence about credit cards' safety and financial management have helped improve borrowing in Canada. Merchants wishing to take part in this should call their merchant services provider to ensure that they have all the payment processing options to satisfy their customers.