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Financial literacy tools used by more Canadians

Canadians are flocking to online tools to learn more about their finances, according to a report from the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada.

Canadians are flocking to online tools to learn more about their finances, according to a report from the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada.

The number of Canadians using online tools to learn about their personal finances grew by 34 per cent over the past year, far exceeding expectations. ((iStock))
The agency, which is tasked with improving the financial literacy of Canadians, anticipated a five per cent increase in the use of its online tools over the past year. Instead it recorded a 34 per cent hike in usage.

A website called The City, which FCAC developed in association with the B.C. securities commission as a learning tool for young people had 4,000 teachers and 18,000 students registered at the end of March.

FCAC's web portal The Money Belt recorded 425,000 visits over the past year.

"Consumers need to have a solid understanding not only of how to manage their own personal finances, but also of financial institutions' obligations toward them, so they can make smart financial decisions," said FCAC commissioner Ursula Menke.

Among the things that are drawing more consumers to FCAC is an online credit card calculator, which shows how long it will take to pay off a balance making only minimum payments.

The agency also has tools for comparing credit cards and bank accounts, and tips on how to better manage money.

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