Know your rights and responsibilities

Financial literacy is a key for a comfortable, healthy life

By Kirsten Stark

Here is the third financial literacy challenge from Cariboo Chilcotin Partners for Literacy (CCPL). What financial products and services do you use?

Do you know the interest rate on your credit card, or what it will cost you if you miss a payment?

How much are bank fees costing you each month?

This week’s challenge is to make sure you understand all your financial agreements. Include things like buy-now-pay-later and cell phone contracts.

If the written contracts are hard to understand, contact your bank or financial services provider and ask them to explain. We’re lucky in Canada to have strong protection for consumers of financial products and services.

All of us have a responsibility to inform ourselves of rates, terms, and penalties associated with financial services and products.

Financial institutions have an obligation to give consumers clear information and protection on certain financial products; consumers have to take precautions to protect their private and financial information and read their financial agreements thoroughly.

Take time to learn about government of Canada education saving incentives, such as the Canada Education Savings Grant and Canada Learning Bond.

Ending residential tenancy agreements can often lead to financial frustration for both tenants and landlords. An information sheet, What Every Landlord and Tenant Needs to Know, can be found at http://www2.gov.bc.ca/

For more information and resources on your rights and responsibilities as a financial consumer, e-mail lory@caribooliteracy.com in 100 Mile House, and in Williams Lake, e-mail kirsten@caribooliteracy.com.

Kirsten Stark is a CCPL literacy outreach worker.