You might've heard the news that the Quebec Government passed Bill 134, a law intended to modernize the Quebec Consumer Protection Act. Now, two years after the bill was passed, Quebecers will begin to feel its effects.
If you own a credit card in Quebec, your minimum payments are about to be more expensive. Believe me, reading that statement made me see red too but don't worry, once you look into what's actually going down, it's really not that bad.
While companies have the option of implementing the changes over time, all new credit card contracts will follow the new regulations and eventually, all contracts will have to comply with the new laws. The changes are meant to strengthen an individual's financial well-being. The government acknowledges that people who are struggling financially will feel the effects of these new regulations.
As of August 1st, 2019, your minimum payments on your credit card will go up to 5% on balance owning. For example, if you owe $1,000 on your statement, you'd only have to pay a $20 (2% rate) minimum payment under the former laws. After August, that minimum payment on your $1,000 owed will be $50.
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Banks will be required to maintain the 2% minimum payment rate until they decide to raise it to meet the new laws. That is if your bank doesn't decide to implement the changes right away.
However, these changes should help you better manage your debts. While some of the most financially vulnerable people will feel the difference, an average debtor should, in theory, be better able to track and pay off their debts faster.
Critics say that these new changes will be good for the long-run of one's financial health.
According to the CBC, if "someone who owes $1,000 on 19.9 percent interest rate credit [...] pays a two percent minimum payment and makes no new purchases, it will take 26 years and four months to repay"
Kind of unreasonable if you think about it, right?
The report goes on to reveal the good news that if people now "pay a five percent minimum payment, the same amount will take six years to repay, and it will cost only $445 in interest payments."
So yes, while it might seem like they're trying to pinch every penny out of your pocket, the banks and the Quebec Government are actually trying to curb long-term debts for everyone.
On August 1st, don't be surprised if your minimum payments are higher than usual!
If you feel the pinch, make sure to seek out some financial advice and reevaluate your financial outlook!
It's important to stay educated on finances even though high schools prefer to teach us the Pythagorean theorem - can we please get some financial education for heaven's sake?!
The Quebec minimum payment rate on credit cards is going up to 5% on balance owed. That's not necessarily a bad thing because paying more on your minimum payment means that your long-term debt will be erased much faster than ever before. The new laws go into place on August 1st, 2019.
To read CBC's full article, head to their page here.