Fear Of Rate Hikes Continues To Intensify Among Saskatchewan Residents

A recent Ipsos poll conducted by MNP LTD., has found that Saskatchewan and Manitoba residents are fearful of increased financial turbulence in the wake of future interest rate hikes. The survey found three in ten now worry future increases could inch them closer to bankruptcy — a four percent increase since June. Rising seven percent, more than half of Saskatchewan and Manitoba residents (53%) are concerned that future rate increases could impact their ability to pay their debts, while close to half (47%) say they’re feeling the effects of previous interest rate increases — an eight-point climb. Two in five (41%) say they could be in financial trouble if rates go up much further.

Now a year after the first interest rate increase in nearly a decade, the effects are much more predominant throughout the provinces. The responses of more than two in five Saskatchewan and Manitoba residents seem to reflect that — both with anxiety regarding current debt burden (45%, up 10%) and regrets over how much debt they’ve taken on in their lives (44%, up 7%). As there has been negligible decrease in household borrowing and with rates expected to keep rising, that fear and concern will only continue to amplify.

Person online shopping on their laptop holding a credit card

Encouragingly, however, nearly nine in ten (86%) Saskatchewan and Manitoba residents resolve to be more careful with how they spend their money as rates go up. Up ten percent since June, that’s the greatest increase of any other provinces. Despite concerns about their immediate situations, this may be fuelling optimism for the future. One quarter (25%) say their current debt situation is better than it was a year ago, while two in five (42%) believe things will be better still in a year’s time. More than half (56%) predict an improvement over the next five years — the highest proportion of any other provinces.

But conservative spending alone may not be enough to prevent the wave of financial difficulty ahead. It’s important to consider the benefits of a proactive approach to managing and reducing debt — including meeting with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee for a Free Confidential Consultation. There is still a lot of reluctance to seek professional help, though that is often the easiest path and most cost-effective path to financial fresh start. Debt doesn’t have to be permanent, and finding the right solution is much easier with the assistance of a qualified professional.

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.