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According to a recent Ipsos poll conducted by MNP LTD., the increased cost of borrowing due to rising interest rates is causing many
British Columbians to re-evaluate their relationship with debt. Seven in 10 (73%) people who responded to the survey say higher interest rates will cause them to think twice about how much they spend their money. Nearly four in 10 (36%) say they will be in financial trouble if rates go up much further, while the same number say they have already felt the effects of increases that took place in July and September.
Compared to previous survey results, the average British Columbia household now has $186 less at the end of the month after bills and debt payments than they did in June. With nearly two in five (38%) BC residents already within $200 of not being able to pay their bills, more than one in five (22%) now worry future increases could push them toward bankruptcy.
Concerningly, the results indicate that while British Columbians are going to be stressed by more expensive debt, their debt burden will likely get worse rather than better over the foreseeable future. When presented with six unpredictable scenarios, less than half believed they could deal with them without taking on more debt. In fact, almost two thirds (63%) expect to take on more debt over the next year just to cover basic living and family expenses.
The issue here isn't just the cost of debt increasing. Instead it is a combination of people not earning enough to finance their lifestyles and not having enough emergency savings to cover unexpected costs – instead using inexpensive credit to get them through. Now that the cost to service that debt is increasing, many who were already overextended to begin with are finding themselves unable to make ends meet.
The survey also uncovered how a lack of financial literacy has pushed many households into difficult situations they may not be able to recover from. More than seven in 10 (73%) people responded they believe they have a solid understanding of how interest rate increases impact their financial situation, but opinions differed when respondents were asked how they could tolerate either a one percent interest rate increase of an additional $130 in monthly interest payments. Though both represent the same value, opinions were marginally improved about the one percent increase over previous survey results yet equally pessimistic about the dollar value. This indicates many people hesitate to make important changes until they see the tangible consequences. However, by then it's often too late.
Are you worried about rising interest rates and your ability to cope? We've created an online tool to evaluate your current debt health. Your results on the MNP Debt Scale will help you decide whether a Life-Changing Debt Solution may be right for you.
Other key poll highlights included:
About the MNP Consumer Debt Index
To learn more about the survey and how MNP can help you manage your debt challenges, contact
Lana Gilbertson, CIRP, LIT, Senior Vice President, MNP Ltd., at 1.877.363.3437 or
Our team of Licensed Insolvency Trustees will help you
explore the debt relief options available to you and
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*310-DEBT doesn’t operate in MB, NW ON and QC.
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