Fear Of Rate Hikes Continues To Intensify Among Ontarians

A recent Ipsos poll conducted by MNP LTD., has found that Ontario residents are fearful of increased financial turbulence in the wake of future interest rate hikes. The survey found one in three now worry future increases could inch them closer to bankruptcy — a six percent increase since June. More than half of Ontarians (52%, up 1%) are concerned that future rate increases could impact their ability to pay their debts, and close to half (45%) say they're feeling the effects of previous interest rate increases — a four-point climb. More than two in five (44%) say they could be in financial trouble if rates go up much further.

Person looking at their computer in an office

The impacts of a higher interest rate environment are becoming increasingly prominent throughout Ontario, but it's likely the full impact is yet to come. With nearly two in five Ontarians saying they're concerned about their current debt level (38%) and that they regret how much debt they've taken on in life (43%), it's likely that future increases will cause more accelerated, immediate and significant negative effects.

Despite the growing anxiety, however, Ontarians aren't all pessimistic. Potentially fuelled by the more than eight in ten (83%) who resolve to reduce their spending as interest rates go up and the one in three (30%) who say their debt situation has improved over the past year — two in five expect to see an improvement over the next 12 months. More than half (54%) foresee an improvement to their debt situation over the following five years.

With the consequences of rising interest rates now understood, it's important for Ontario residents to consider what actions they will take. Many feel hopeless and ashamed about their situations, but it's important to recognize that help is available. Licensed Insolvency Trustees offer a no obligation Free Confidential Consultation to review debtors' financial situations and provide options for a financial fresh start. The situation may seem bleak, but debt doesn't have to be permanent. Reaching out to a professional now can prevent a great deal of stress and frustration down the road.

Other poll highlights include:

Atlantic Canadians show the most trepidation towards increasing interest rates. Sixty-five per cent of Atlantic Canadians say that as interest rates rise, they are becoming more concerned about their ability to repay their debts– ahead of those in Alberta (55%), Saskatchewan and Manitoba (53%), Ontario (52%), and BC and Quebec (both 48%).
Atlantic Canadians are most likely to state with rising interest rates they will be more careful with how they spend their money (87%), followed by Saskatchewan and Manitoba (86%), Ontario (83%), Alberta (77%), British Columbia (76%) and Quebec (72%).
Concern about rising interest rates triggering a move toward bankruptcy is more pronounced in Atlantic Canada (39%), followed by Alberta, Quebec and Ontario (both 34%), British Columbia (33%), and Saskatchewan and Manitoba (31%).
Canadians remain more positive than negative towards their debt situation, as nearly three in ten (28%) rate their current debt situation better than a year ago, and more than one in three (35%) say their debt situation has improved when compared to 5 years prior. Canadians also continue to be hopeful about the future, with four in ten (39%) Canadians believing their expected debt situation a year from now will improve, and half expect their situation to improve within the next 5 years.
Albertans (20%) are most likely to say their current debt situation is worse, followed by residents of Atlantic Canada (17%), Saskatchewan and Manitoba (15%), Ontario (13%), Quebec (10%), and British Columbia (8%).

Quebec residents (49%) are most likely to rate their personal debt situation as good, followed by residents British Columbia (45%), Ontario (38%), Saskatchewan and Manitoba (34%), Alberta (33%) and Atlantic Canada (28%).

About MNP Debt

MNP LTD, a division of MNP LLP, is the largest insolvency practice in Canada. For more than 50 years, our experienced team of Licensed Insolvency Trustees and advisors have been working with individuals to help them recover from times of financial distress and regain control of their finances. With more than 230 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 or get a free checkup for your debt health using the MNP Debt Scale.

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 or relief among Canadians. Visit www.MNPdebt.ca/CDI to learn more.

The latest Index data was compiled by Ipsos on behalf of MNP LTD between September 10 and September 17, 2018. For this survey, a sample of 2,003 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 sixth wave of the MNP Consumer Debt Index.