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Albertans are increasingly reliant on debt, struggling to pay off their outstanding balances and apparently in the worst position of any province currently. This according to a recent Ipsos poll conducted by MNP LTD., which reveals more than two thirds (69%) of Alberta consumers would need a sizable income boost to pay off their creditors. Across the province, the average household estimates they would need to earn 38% more to live debt free.
Especially concerning are those already struggling financially – many of whom may already fit the definition of insolvency. Across the country, debtors in this category would need an increase of nearly 1.5 times their current income (49%) to live debt free.
The survey also asked Albertans who's to blame for their non-mortgage debts. Interestingly, less than half (45%) blame themselves while more than one in five (21%) point the finger at external factors – including a greater emphasis on taxes (17%) than other provinces, a spouse (9%) and Bank of Canada interest rates (8%), among others.
Overall, the results underscore a dramatic shift in Albertans' relationship with debt. When faced with unexpected costs, such as home or automotive repairs – even basic household expenses, emergency savings are almost non-existent. Instead, people are going straight to home equity lines of credit, credit cards or other high-interest debt vehicles to make up the difference.
With interest rates on the rise, households are increasingly vulnerable to the exploitive tactics of lenders: taking on more debts to cover their existing ones, investing more of their income just to cover the minimum payments and having less and less money to make ends meet. That's how the cycle of debt begins; also why it's so hard to escape.
Even if someone does feel they're responsible for their current debt situation, it's important to look past the potential shame and guilt they may be feeling and understand there are resources available to help. While a significant growth income may not be in the cards for everyone, debt freedom is still attainable for most people. From budgeting assistance to Consumer Proposals, there is an effective option to suit nearly every unique debt situation. It's just a matter of reaching out and asking for assistance.
Other survey 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 220 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 contact a Licensed Insolvency Trustee.
About the Survey
These are the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted 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.
To learn more about the survey and how MNP can help you manage your debt challenges, contact
Zaki Alam, CIRP, LIT, Senior Vice-President, MNP Ltd., at 1.866.465.1155 or
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*310-DEBT doesn’t operate in MB, NW ON and QC.
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