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The Big Story: Ignoring interest rates is finally costing you money

Last Updated Jul 12, 2018 at 6:38 am PDT

Canadian bank notes are seen, in Ottawa on Wednesday, September 6, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

With the amount of debt Canadians carry and the state of housing markets in our largest cities, interest rates might be the most important financial factor that we regularly ignore.

For almost a decade, that was fine. But they’ve just been raised for the fourth time in the past 12 months, and they probably won’t stop here.

Canadians need to plan for a period of spiking rates that will impact everything from mortgages and lines of credit, to student loans, savings accounts, and investments.

In today’s ‘Big Story’ podcast, veteran business and personal finance journalist Bryan Borzykowski gets us up to speed.

He says our level of general literacy on interest rates and how they affect us is “not good.”

“It’s bad across the board, on anything related to finance. And interest rates are a difficult thing to understand. When I started writing about this stuff, I didn’t know anything. I didn’t even know what a mutual fund was when I started writing about business. I faked it for a few months until I started figuring it out. I’ve been interviewing people about interest rates and inflation and stock prices for years. Even still, it can be confusing.”

You can hear the full episode and subscribe to The Big Story podcast on iTunes or Google Play.

You can also hear it online at thebigstorypodcast.ca.