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According to a recent Ipsos poll conducted by MNP LTD., pocketbooks across Saskatchewan are continuing to get lighter as a result of recent interest rate increases. The latest insights from the quarterly survey indicate Saskatchewan residents are among the most concerned about the impacts of higher interest rates (58%) – with their negative outlook growing 12 percent over the past three months. They are also increasingly worried about their current level of debt (46%), as nearly a half (47%) note they're feeling the effects of last year's hikes – a five and seven point rise respectively. Almost one in five (37%) now believe this trend could push them towards bankruptcy.
Across the province, households are struggling to balance their budgets. Not only are Saskatchewan residents the most likely to be $200 or less from making ends meet (52%) – a four percent increase – they're also the most likely to say their finances already maxed out at the end of the month (33%). Consequently, close to half expect they'll require more debt over the next year just to cover basic living expenses (48%) – up five percent over the last quarter.
A lack of emergency savings also continues to be a concern. A majority lack confidence in their ability to handle an unexpected expense, with only three in ten Saskatchewan households believing they could manage without relying on credit. In the event of an unexpected auto repair or purchase, only 23 percent think they could afford it – a 10 percent drop. The trend is similar for taking three months off work due to illness (21%) – down 12 percent. A job loss (21%) – down 12 percent. Paying for their own or someone else's education (16%) – down 10 percent. A change in relationship status or divorce (25%) – down five percent. Or the death of an immediate family member (21%) – down seven percent.
Saskatchewan residents are in an extremely vulnerable position right now. And they seem to agree. Compared to all provinces, they are the most likely to expect their debt situation will be worse over the next one and five years respectively. It appears many households are nearing a dangerous tipping point and it's going to take some careful planning and significant cost-cutting to prevent things from getting even worse.
Anyone who is only making the minimum payments, relying on credit to cover basic expenses or is struggling to make ends meet would likely benefit from the help of an accredited professional. The sooner the reach out, the more options they will likely have to improve their situation and prevent it from deteriorating any further.
Other poll highlights include:
About the MNP Consumer Debt Index
The MNP Consumer Debt Index measures Canadians' attitudes toward their consumer debt and gauges their ability to pay their bills, endure unexpected expenses, follow a budget, and absorb interest-rate fluctuations without approaching insolvency. Conducted by Ipsos and updated quarterly, the Index is an industry-leading barometer of financial pressure /relief among Canadians. Visit
www.MNPdebt.ca/CD to learn more.
The latest Index data was compiled by Ipsos on behalf of MNP LTD between March 12 and March 16, 2018. For this survey, a sample of 2,001 Canadians from the Ipsos I-Say panel was interviewed online. The precision of online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the results are accurate to within +/- 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what the results would have been had all Canadian adults been polled. Credibility intervals are wider among subsets of the population. This represents the fourth wave of the MNP Consumer Debt Index.
To learn more about the survey and how MNP can help you manage your debt challenges, contact
Pamela Meger CIRP, LIT, Senior Vice-President, MNP Ltd., at 306.790.7925 or
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