Rising interest rates have Canadians stampeding to their banks to lock in or consolidate their loans.

 

Sadly, in this state of urgency, people often forget two important pieces of information. First, interest rates are still at historically low levels, thus there is no need for the mad dash, and second, lenders are still willing to negotiate with you. Rather than rushing to secure an interest rate, often at the mercy of your lender, take a moment to coordinate your debts and develop a game plan.

 

Like a boxer preparing for the ring, you need to put your gloves on and get ready for a bout — an interest rate negotiation. Get prepared by gathering a detailed list of everything you owe, to whom, balances, current rates and required payments.

 

Next, research current rates by reviewing the websites of various lenders and the Bank of Canada. Then ask your lender for a lower rate on all your debt. There are a variety of ways they can give do this. If your lender doesn’t want to work with you, transfer your business. One more thing —don’t rack up any more consumer debt while you’re paying off your existing debts.