In addition to the car lease, Leonard and Rose each have a VISA card with an interest rate of 18.25% p.a. They currently have a balance of $1,205 and made payments of $3,537 in 2010. You suggest that they pay this off as soon as possible in order to avoid the high interest charges. Although Leonard and Rose could take out a bank loan to save interest, they are nervous that, with a zero balance on their credit card, they might run it up again. You advise them that, in this case, they should just keep plugging away and pay off the balance as fast as possible. Rose and Leonard think they could reasonably pay it all off in 2011. They will then have this money to contribute to either non-registered savings or RESPs for their children.
Rose and Leonard bought their house at the end of March 2002, making their first bi-weekly mortgage payment in April, 2002 (making 20 payments the first year). The house cost $280,000 and they put 25% down. The interest rate has always been 6.5%. They renewed for a 5-year term in March 2007. The mortgage has been amortized over 25 years and they make end-of-period mortgage payments. The couple expects to pay off their mortgage in full before they retire. They have joint creditor life insurance on their mortgage, which is $525 p.a.