Choosing a Cellphone Provider in Canada

The choice of a cellphone provider in Canada is an important decision to make, taking into account different plans, whether you are getting a new phone, prices, download speeds, customer support, and other factors.

How to Choose a Provider

There are a number of factors to consider when choosing a cellphone provider, whether in Canada or elsewhere. These include speed, performance, activation and restocking fees, and many others. Make sure you inquire about the provider’s data coverage policy as well. The majority of providers also offer different types of plans to attract more customers. Clients are usually offered unlimited individual and family plans, prepaid and basic phone plans, and other options. Some cellphone providers also offer international calling plans and early upgrade plans. Business plans are also available. Additional features include early termination assistance, selective free streaming, etc. Data rollover is a great option if offered. In this case, data not used over a given month can be rolled over to use the next month.

Rogers

Rogers offers a wide range of services, including mobile internet and basic phone plans, added services, and a lot more. You can choose a prepaid (pay as you go) plan or basic phone plan with 200, 500, or 1,000 local minutes and unlimited messaging and calls after 6pm. There are different smartphone plans to look into, depending on your requirements. You can get add-ons and extras such as 2,500 call forwarding minutes, group calling, call waiting, enhanced voicemail, and unlimited messaging and calls Canada-wide depending on what you can afford.

Bell

Bell also offers different cellphone plans to its customers, as well as share plans and the option to add a mobile device or family member to your existing plan. There are plenty of extras and beneficial features that come with a share plan, including 1 GB to 15 GB of shareable data, call waiting, conference calling, call display, and unlimited video, picture, and text messages. In addition to share plans, customers can choose a prepaid or voice and text only plan. The voice and text plan is a basic type of plan that comes with unlimited video, picture, and text messages and 200 local minutes. It will cost you just $35 a month. The prepaid plan costs just $15.75 a month and features extras such as unlimited international texting, unlimited weekends and evenings, and is great for people on the budget. Prepaid plans also come with add-ons such as unlimited video, picture, and text messages, etc.

Telus

There are several great plans offered by Telus that you can look into. These include family and smartphone plans and the option to bring your own mobile device. Customers are free to customize their plan as well and pick from different voice and data options, i.e. 1GB, 2GB, 7GB, etc. You will also benefit from extras such as 300 local minutes, unlimited local calling and nationwide calling, and a Canada-US plan. The monthly plan cost depends on the option you choose. For example, if you go for the Canada-US plan with unlimited nationwide texting and 2GB of data, you will pay $115 a month. If you go for unlimited nationwide calling, then you will pay $100 a month. You will pay $10 less on a monthly basis if you buy a smartphone. If you are a frequent traveler (whether for business or leisure), then you may want to look into the travel option offered by Telus. The price depends on the features you go for. For instance, if you choose a plan with 500 texts, 150 minutes, and 150 MB, this will cost you $45 a month.

Options for Consolidating Credit Card Debt in Canada

If you have student debt and no or low paid job, you are probably concerned about payments already. The good news is that there are many ways to go about this and deal with piling debt. Depending on your financial circumstances, your bank or credit union may offer different products, including low-cost personal loans, debt consolidation, HELOC, etc.

Debt Consolidation

is one option to look into and combine your outstanding balances in a single loan. There are several benefits to doing this, one being that your monthly payment will be lower. This is especially true if you have a solid credit score and have been а regular payer so far. Consolidation also makes it easier to plan your budget and keep up with payments on a monthly basis. Keep in mind that your institution will require proof of a job or proof of income to ensure that you are able to meet your payment in a timely way. If you are unable to make timely payments for some reason, your score will suffer.

Credit card debt consolidation is a good choice if you have two or more high-interest balances. One way to do this is to take advantage of zero percent balance transfers. Some banks and finance companies offer teaser rates to increase their customer base. Ask if you can transfer your student credit card balances and take advantage of the promotional rate. This can be a cheap option if you have a relatively small outstanding balance and a very good credit score. It pays to have a look at your credit report to check for errors and inaccuracies.

Keep in mind that there are some downsides to consolidation as well. One is that you might be tempted to borrow more once you pay your outstanding balance. It is a better idea to develop good money management habits first to learn how to deal with debt. Another downside is that while some issuers offer a teaser rate, cards come with unfavorable terms such as high annual fees, high cash advance fees, and so on.

Low-Cost Personal Loans

This is yet another way to go about loan repayment provided that you have a sound credit score. A poor or average score means that you will be offered unfavorable terms and a higher interest rate. The best option is to visit your local credit union and ask about their loan portfolio. Unions offer financing with considerably lower rates compared to other providers.

HELOC

A home equity line of credit is a third option to deal away with student card debt provided that you have equity. The main benefit is that you can get a cheaper rate compared to most financial products. The problem, however, is that your home serves as a guarantee or collateral. This means that you risk losing your property in case of non-payment. Plus, you will have to pay your loans over a shorter period. If you go with this option, make sure you have emergency savings (9 – 12 months' worth), disability insurance, life insurance, and stable job.

Consolidating Other Types of Student Debt

If you have a government-sponsored student loan, then you can apply for debt relief under the Repayment Assistance Plan. You will either stop making payments altogether or the amount of your monthly payment will be reduced. This depends on your financial picture (whether you are employed, how much you earn, how much you owe, etc.) Remember that you are not entitled to automatic re-enrollment meaning that you have to reapply after each 6-month period.