John Rafferty MP – Are you aware that this November is Financial Literacy month?

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John Rafferty MP
John Rafferty MP

John Rafferty MP

OTTAWA – Leaders Ledger – Are you aware that this November is Financial Literacy month? Between now and November 30th the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) is holding events across the country to help Canadians better manage their finances. Hosted by a number of financial counseling groups, each event deals with the most prevalent financial issues we face today. While there are no events planned in the Thunder Bay-Rainy River area, please feel free to search the FCAC online Calendar of Events should you find yourself in one of the locations. It is an excellent opportunity to learn how to improve your credit, enhance your money managing skills, and educate yourself on saving for the future. For youth between the ages of 13-19 Financial Literacy month is a chance to creatively display your financial skills and goals in a video contest, whose simple guidelines can be found directly on the FCAC webpage.

While November presents a unique opportunity for all Canadians to become more financially literate, help and advice of this kind is provided by the FCAC year round. As an independent body the FCAC is here to serve the interests of you, the consumer, and to offer sound financial assistance. Established in 2001 under the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada Act, the FCAC also aims to protect people from the malpractice of federally regulated financial institutions, and to serve as an overseeing body that ensures these institutions are functioning within their rights.

I urge you to access the FCAC website, and browse through the wide variety of simple tools that help organize your finances, map out payment plans, and educate you on your rights as a consumer. Take a few moments to complete their quick self-assessment survey. By doing so the website produces a personalized Financial Toolkit, that displays a list of topics and material which the FCAC believes will help your financial situation. If you’re eager to find out what type of mortgage you’re eligible for, or which credit card rates are best for you, then the website’s interactive and simple to use calculators can help determine these answers. We all carry certain financial goals, be they small or large. Through the websites budgeting and banking tools, you are guided in creating a properly planned budget, and assisted in choosing a bank account that best suits your needs. If you want to find the most efficient way to pay off your mortgage or credit card debt, there are tools available on the website that perform these calculations for you. All of these functions are easy to use, and provide precise figures that will lead you on a balanced financial road.

Life, however, isn’t all that simple. We experience changes on a constant basis, some of which catch us off-guard. If you’re fortunate enough to anticipate any dramatic turning points that will directly impact your finances in the near future, the FCAC website has a list of different life scenarios and how to best approach them. Whether you are about to become a home owner, you’re expecting a child, or planning your retirement, the FCAC offers tips and information needed to make a smooth transition so that your wallet doesn’t get hit hard.

Along with educating consumers, the FCAC is here to protect you from any wrong doing caused by federally regulated financial entities. As a federal regulatory agency, the FCAC monitors these entities to ensure they follow federal regulations and legislations. If you feel you’ve been wronged by your financial institution do not hesitate to file a complaint with them. By law it is mandatory that they have a complaints department. Once all channels have been stressed contact the FCAC and they will guide you through the process.

Being financially literate also means knowing your rights and responsibilities as a consumer. I would like you to familiarize yourselves with this fine organization. Learn more about the FCAC, consumer fraud, and how to use their programs through their Youtube link, or contact them at 1 (866) 461-3222. Be part of Financial Literacy month and take control of your finances, it’s only a click away: http://www.fcac-acfc.gc.ca/eng/index-eng.asp

 

John Rafferty MP

Thunder Bay Rainy River

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John Rafferty is the current Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay – Rainy River and a member of the New Democratic Party caucus in the House of Commons in Ottawa, Ontario. John was first elected to serve as MP in the 2008 federal election and was subsequently re-elected on May 2, 2011 with 48.1% of the vote.