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Financial Literacy Month-BMO's Tip of the Day: Stress-Test Your Mortgage to Ensure Your Housing Costs Are Affordable


TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 23, 2011) - To mark Financial Literacy Month, which was launched by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, BMO is releasing a series of financial tips throughout November. As part of Making Money Make Sense and BMO SmartSteps, the tips are designed to help individuals and families save and manage their day to day finances more effectively.

BMO's Tip of the Day: Stress-test your mortgage to ensure your housing costs are affordable.

"Regardless of the current low interest rates, it is important to be prudent and stress-test your mortgage against a higher interest rate to ensure you can afford what you signed up for", said Katie Archdekin, Head of Mortgage Products, BMO Bank of Montreal. For instance, if your rate were to rise 1 per cent from 5 to 6 per cent, you would need an additional $146 per month on a $250,000 mortgage amortized over 25 years."

BMO Financial Literacy Month Tips

November 1: Pay more than the minimum payment on a credit card balance.

November 2: Choose a shorter amortization for your mortgage.

November 3: Contribute to a child's Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) as early as possible.

November 4: Invest in a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) to maximize your savings.

November 7: Switch to weekly mortgage payments to save interest and become debt-free faster.

November 8: Take advantage of credit card travel insurance to lower costs.

November 9: Start early and contribute often to your investment account, rather than waiting to invest.

November 10: Use a line of credit to consolidate high-interest debt and save on interest costs.

November 14: Canadians can give the gift of securities and benefit at tax time.

November 15: Students, pay off your credit card balances and take advantage of student discounts to save money.

November 16: Pay an extra five per cent on your mortgage every year to reduce interest costs.

November 17: Secure your retirement by starting to save early and taking advantage of compounding growth.

November 18: Students can save money by ensuring they are in a no-fee student banking plan.

November 21: The Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) is a powerful investment option that can offer long-term financial security for persons living with a disability.

November 22: Maximize your Old Age Security (OAS) benefits by adopting the right tax strategies.

For more on financial literacy, BMO encourages Canadians to visit http://www.financialliteracymonth.ca/ and http://www.bmo.com/home/about/banking/corporate-responsibility/customers/financial-literacy.

Media Contacts:
Matt Duffin, Toronto
416-867-3996
matthew.duffin@bmo.com

Sarah Bensadoun, Montreal
514-877-8224
sarah.bensadoun@bmo.com

Laurie Grant, Vancouver
604-665-7596
laurie.grant@bmo.com