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MNP Consumer Debt Sentiment Survey reveals Ontarians' feelings and fears about their debt:
Toronto, ON – Almost sixty per cent of Ontarians now say they are $200 or less per month away from not being able to meet all of their bills or debt obligations each month, an increase of 10 points since February 2016. Thirty-five per cent of this group say they already don’t make enough money to cover their bills and debt payments, technically making them financially insolvent.
The findings are a part of the MNP Consumer Debt Sentiment Survey, a semi-annual poll designed to track Canadians’ feelings about their debt and their perception of their ability to meet their monthly payment obligations. Fifty-two per cent of respondents in Ontario said they are concerned about their current level of debt. For many, this is prompting some soul-searching, with half of Ontarians also now indicating that they regret the amount of debt that they have taken on.
“With so many concerned about their debt and already unable to cover their bills and debts, there is tremendous vulnerability to any kind of economic shock – the loss of a job, an emergency, a divorce, even things like a reduction in overtime pay or bonuses – and especially an increase in interest rates,” said David Gowling, a government Licenced Insolvency Trustee with MNP Debt.
The survey showed that concern about the potential for rising interest rates has also increased in Ontario. Thirty-eight per cent say they are concerned an increase in interest rates could move them towards bankruptcy, an increase of 3 points since February 2016.
“Many over extended themselves, jumping into the hot housing market, worrying prices would continue to rise if they didn’t. Others feel like they have a lot of equity built up in their homes and this caused them to feel like they can spend more and use credit to finance their lifestyles. Now looking ahead to the possibility of a rise in interest rates and the potential of a cool down in the real estate market, the cracks are starting to show,” explains Gowling.
Despite the anxiety around debt, over-spending remains a reality. Thirty-five per cent of parents in Ontario said they spent more than budgeted on back-to-school shopping for their kids, while twenty-nine per cent ‘agree’ they spent over budget on recreation or vacations during the summer.
“Relying on cheap credit to make technology purchases or go on vacation or, worse yet, taking out payday loans to subsidize income, is unsustainable. Those who are living on credit should seek professional help now. One of the biggest mistakes people make is waiting until the point of devastation before getting help,” said Gowling.
Other key poll highlights include:
About MNP Debt
MNP LTD, a division of MNP LLP, is one of the largest personal insolvency practices in Canada. For more than 50 years, our experienced team of Licensed Insolvency Trustees and advisors have been working collaboratively with individuals to help them recover from times of financial distress and regain control of their finances. With more than 200 Canadian offices from coast-to-coast, MNP helps thousands of Canadians each year who are struggling with an overwhelming amount of debt. Visit www.MNPdebt.ca to learn more.
About the MNP Consumer Debt Sentiment Survey
Now in its second year, the MNP Consumer Debt Sentiment Survey is a semi-annual poll designed to track Canadians’ feelings about their debt and their perception of their ability to meet their monthly payment obligations.
The survey was conducted by Ipsos on behalf of MNP Debt between September 6 and September 12, 2016. For this survey, a sample of 1,502 Canadians from Ipsos' online panel was interviewed online. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within +/ - 2.9 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadian adults been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population.
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