Impact of another interest rate increase: Seven in 10 Saskatchewan and Manitoba residents say they will be in financial trouble

2023-10-18  3 minute read

Pamela Meger

MNP Consumer Debt Index

  • Half voice concerns about being driven towards Bankruptcy if rates rise (50%, +7 pts).
  • Significant jump in the proportion of Saskatchewan and Manitoba residents reporting a decline in their capacity to handle an interest rate increase (29%, +9 pts) or an additional $130 in interest payments on debt (40%, +9 pts).
  • The average amount of money residents say they have left over at the end of the month dropped $170 from the previous quarter, more than any other province.

Sunrise over a field and valley with water running through it

REGINA, SK – October 18, 2023 – Significantly more Saskatchewan and Manitoba residents anticipate struggling with further rate hikes as interest rates reach the highest point in over two decades, according to the latest MNP Consumer Debt Index. Nearly seven in 10 say they are concerned about being in financial trouble (67%) if rates rise, a 15-point spike since last quarter and the largest increase throughout the provinces. Half voice concerns about being driven towards Bankruptcy (50%, +7 pts), again making the largest jump from last quarter compared to the other provinces.

“There is growing concern over the potential for continued interest rate hikes in addition to the related increase in debt carrying costs and living expenses. Many household budgets are already stretched thin,” says Pamela Meger, a Licensed Insolvency Trustee with MNP LTD in Regina. “For many in the province, it’s getting increasingly difficult to make ends meet without using credit. That has many feeling bleak about their financial futures, especially if interest rates continue upward.”

Significantly more individuals (29%, +9 pts) say their ability to deal with an interest rate increase of one percentage point has weakened. When asked about their ability to absorb an additional $130 in interest payments on debt, two in five (40%, +9 pts) say it is much worse.

Almost half (48%, -1 pt) in both provinces report that they are $200 away or less from not being able to meet all their financial obligations. At the same time, the average amount of money that residents say they have left over at the end of the month decreased this quarter to $585, dropping $170 from the previous quarter. This is a steeper decline than any other province, as the surging cost of living has chipped away at household budgets.

Concern about unemployment is on the rise in both provinces as more this quarter report being worried about someone in their household potentially losing their job (38%, +4 pts). This four-point jump since last quarter is the largest increase seen throughout the provinces.

“The uncomfortable truth is that as higher interest rates slow the economy, there will inevitably be some consequences like increased unemployment. That can be devastating for those who are already stretched thin,” says Meger. “In that case, individuals should not be too tough on themselves. Take the first step right now to seek professional debt advice.”

Four in 10 say they are concerned about their debt (42%, +7 pts). Additionally, three in five are concerned about their ability to pay their debts (63%, +2 pts), and more than a quarter (27%, unchanged) say they don’t make enough to cover their bills and debt payments.

“The stress and anxiety brought on by debt lead some to believe things that simply aren’t true — that they are a failure, that they are in this alone, that they are without help, or that they can never be debt-free. But there is help available,” says Meger.

She recommends those who anticipate missing payments first contact their lender to see if they can set up a payment plan and seek advice from a Licensed Insolvency Trustee.

“In addition to initiating direct contact with their lenders, individuals facing the challenge of escalating debt should seek professional debt advice. Licensed Insolvency Trustees offer impartial advice on various debt relief solutions, including budgeting, debt consolidation, and Consumer Proposals," she says.

Licensed Insolvency Trustees are the only federally regulated debt professionals who can assist with all the debt relief options, including Consumer Proposals and Bankruptcy, which can discharge people from debt. To support those in need of financial assistance, MNP provides free consultations across the country.


MNP LTD, a division of the national accounting firm MNP LLP, is the largest insolvency practice in Canada. For more than 50 years, our experienced team of Licensed Insolvency Trustees and advisors has been working with individuals to help them recover from times of financial distress and regain control of their finances. With more than 240 offices from coast to coast, MNP helps thousands of Canadians each year who are struggling with an overwhelming amount of debt. Visit to contact a Licensed Insolvency Trustee or use our free Do it Yourself (DIY) debt assessment tools. For regular, bite-sized insights about debt and personal finances, subscribe to the MNP 3-Minute Debt Break Podcast.

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, 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.

Now in its twenty-sixth wave, the Index increased to 86 points, up three points since last quarter, but remains below the five-year average. Visit to learn more.

The data was compiled by Ipsos on behalf of MNP LTD between September 5 and September 8, 2023. For this survey, a sample of 2,000 Canadians aged 18 years and over was interviewed. 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 ±2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadian adults been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to, coverage error, and measurement error.

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