/ Your loan

What would you do with $10,000?

Last Fall, we offered ten customers the chance to win up to $10,000. Coast to coast, over 34,000 Canadians entered to win the BEST. LOAN. EVER. - the loan they didn’t have to pay back. We had winners in British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick - and every one of them did something unique with their prize.

And what did they do with the money?

How the winners used their prize money taught us a lot about who our customers are and their financial priorities. When we surveyed the winners, we found patterns in how they used their prize money. Here are:

The four things that are worth spending money on

1. Pay down debt

Nobody likes carrying debt, but borrowing money is a fact of life. Six of our ten winners used at least part of their prize money to pay off or pay down debts. And it’s no wonder - with record-high debt levels, more and more Canadian households are finding themselves under water.1 Between household expenses and other obligations, the cost of living is showing no sign of going down.

A family spending time together2. Time with family

When we asked winners what their plans were for the money, the second most likely answer we received was spending time with family. Whether winners used the money for activities with children, family events or taking a trip with their spouse, family time was a common theme. In 2005, Stats Canada reported that most Canadians considered work-life balance to be the main indicator of career success, however, on average, Canadians spend 45 minutes less per day with their families than we did 20 years ago.2 What better time than now to remind ourselves that time spent with loved ones is priceless.

3. Travel

Far and wide, people love to travel. New experiences, different places, exotic food, a break from the weather - whatever it is we’re seeking, the change of pace that travel creates in our lives is a joy shared by people world-wide. In fact, travel and tourism contributed almost $1.2 trillion to the global economy in 2014.3 Here at home, our winners used their prize money to pay for vacations and plan future trips. One used their winnings to pay off a trip he’d taken earlier, and another went on a dream cruise with his spouse - if you’re reading this Pete, we hope you had a wonderful time.

A third of our winners used their prize money to pay for improvements where they would enjoy it the most."

4. Spend money improving your favourite places

Whether it was outside, in the garage or in the heart of their home, a third of our winners used their prize money to pay for improvements where they would enjoy it the most. Kitchen upgrades, home renovations - wherever it was, our winners added value to the places that matter to them.

So, what would you do with $10,000?

Once again, opportunity knocks. Do you want a chance to show us what you would do? Good news! If you open or renew a loan from April 1-30, you’ll automatically be entered to win the value of your loan (up to $10,000)!* Visit our website to enter the contest online now, learn more about how it works and view full contest rules.You can also enter to win the value of your existing loan at your branch.

You can also visit our website to meet the 2015 BEST. LOAN. EVER. contest winners. There might even be a winner from your local Fairstone branch.

Congratulations to our past winners, and good luck!

This article is for informational purposes only. For personalized financial advice, you should contact a qualified financial advisor.

1 Mcmahon, Tasmin. "Canadian Household Debt Hits Record High as Consumer Spending Rises." The Globe and Mail. 15 Sept. 2015. Web. 04 Mar. 2016.
2 Turcotte, Martin. "Time Spent with Family during a Typical Workday, 1986 to 2005." Statistics Canada. Government of Canada, 23 Apr. 2014. Web. 04 Mar. 2016.
3 "Global Business Travel Industry." www.statista.com. The Statistics Portal, 2014. Web. 04 Mar. 2016.

*BEST. LOAN. EVER. Terms and Conditions
No purchase required. Contest is open to legal residents of Canada who are of the age of majority and who are the primary account holder of a new or existing personal or EquityPlus loan. Limit one (1) entry per loan. Five (5) prizes to be awarded across Canada. Each prize is equal to the winner’s Payout Amount as of June 1, 2016, to a maximum of $10,000. Contest closes April 30, 2016. Prize draw is May 17, 2016 and prizes will be fulfilled by June 15, 2016. Odds of winning depend upon the number of eligible entries received. Correct answer to mathematical skill-testing question required. To enter or see full contest rules, please visit your local Fairstone branch or fairstone.ca/best-loan-ever.