Broker: Debt education will lead to referrals

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Paying down debt is a top priority for Canadians, according to a recent study, and one broker believes helping clients manage mortgage debt is one effective way to earn referrals.

CIBC’s yearly poll on consumer financial priorities has revealed that, for the fifth year in a row, paying down debt continues to be Canadians’ top financial concern.

"Not only have Canadians told us debt repayment is their number one financial priority for five years running, for 2015 we see an even greater number of Canadians focused on better managing debt in the year ahead," Christina Kramer, executive vice president of retail and business banking for CIBC said. "While it is encouraging that paying down debt is important to Canadians, it is also important not to lose sight of longer term goals like retirement planning."

And not only is paying down debt the top concern – more Canadians are viewing it as such.

22 per cent of those polled said debt repayment is their top financial priority for 2015, up from 16 per cent a year ago. This is good news for brokers who wish to educate home buyers on the importance of paying down their mortgages.

“That's why I help my clients not only get into a mortgage … I also spend the time to educate them on how to get out of one,” one commenter said on “The referrals you get from this simple tactic are unbelievable.”

The poll also found that debt repayment is becoming increasingly important to Canadians who are nearing retirement age, with 31 per cent of those aged 45-54 saying debt repayment is their top priority.

"We've seen debt repayment close to doubling in importance for age groups that would typically be in their peak retirement savings years, but it is important that they don't put off retirement planning indefinitely," Kramer said. "The good news is that by getting advice and taking small steps now, you can still focus on your retirement savings at the same time as you tackle your debt."
  • Angela Wong-Liao - Invis on 2015-01-05 1:30:57 PM

    I am happy to find out that we, Canadians are working on debt reduction.

    I advised my clients that if they spend beyond their means, they will always have financial challenges, however, if they spend within their means, they can breath and if they spend below their means, they can truly enjoy life and be happy

  • judy on 2015-01-05 1:56:26 PM

    Paying off debt is a better way to hit "Freedom 55, 65, or 75" than what any of the investment firms can guarantee! When you can only get about 2% return on anything insured - you are much farther ahead to put your money on the debt that you have "guaranteed" to your creditors to pay off at a rate much higher than 2%.Over the long run the difference in savings will build and so will your increased net worth.Worrying about debt will shorten and hurt the quality of your life in the long run, so why give the latest "smooth-talker" your retirement savings to gamble? Best to bet on yourself! This is from the voice of experience, however, some debt is unavoidable, like the mortgage on a modest home or car.

  • Ron Butler on 2015-01-05 3:47:48 PM

    Has anyone ever met an average person (not a multimillionaire with private wealth management) who said they had fantastic returns over many years with their personal financial advisor?

    I have never met that person.

    I have met a 1000 people who have told me they averaged about 2.50% a year for 3, 4, or 6 years. So paying down debts is clearly the way to go.

  • @kiltedbroker on 2015-01-05 10:15:11 PM

    There is no doubt that client education should be the cornerstone of any mortgage broker's marketing plan. Sometimes we forget to reach out to our existing clients in favour of 'educating' the clients we are currently working with. This is where having an up to date blog comes in handy! A post on debt reduction on your personal blog would be very timely about now.

    And Ron, nope, I have never met that person either.

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