Increased Interest Rates Could Spell Disaster For Canadians In Debt

2017-08-01   minute read

Grant Bazian

MNP Consumer Debt Index

With banks offering consumers a record amount of credit in recent years, Canadian households will face tough times ahead if they aren’t able to reduce their debt loads. Following more than seven years of easy money with low borrowing costs, the Bank of Canada raised its key interest rate by one quarter of a percentage point July 12; up from 0.50 per cent to 0.75 per cent. With another increase widely expected before the end of 2017, Canadians (especially those with mortgages) should view this trend with some concern. Because while it could signal an improving economy, it will also leave millions of debtholders pinching their pennies as they struggle to cope from one payment to the next with higher monthly payments.


In fact, a new poll conducted by Ipsos on behalf of MNP LTD reveals that more than a quarter of mortgage holders across the country already feel they are “in over their head” with debt, while 70 per cent of Canadians would have difficulty keeping up if their interest rate were to increase by just 1 per cent. Largely the result of homeowners borrowing against their mortgages to finance unsustainable lifestyles, debtholders will need to start making immediate plans to curb spending and lower their overall financial burden if they hope to weather the coming storm. This includes creating a budget, reducing their credit card balance and (if possible) making payments against the principal value of their mortgages.

An original article discussing the Ipsos poll and concern amongst Canadians was published online on July 10, 2017.

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