Over Half of Manitoba and Saskatchewan Residents are $200 or Less Away from Financial Insolvency After Paying their Monthly Bills and Debts, Up 14 points Since September

2019-01-21   minute read

MNP Consumer Debt Index

According to a recent Ipsos poll conducted by MNP LTD., Manitoba and Saskatchewan residents are the most likely (56%) to be within $200 of insolvency at month-end compared to other provinces — jumping 14 points since September. More than one third (36%, +7%) say they already don’t earn enough to pay their bills and debt obligations. And nearly half (47%) expect to take on more debt over the next 12 months just to cover basic living and family expenses. Fewer than one in three believe they could cope financially with an unexpected expense or life-changing event.

Night view of Downtown Winnipeg

Much of this turmoil boils down to higher interest rates, which have increased the costs to service debt and pushed Manitoba and Saskatchewan budgets to the limit. With little to no room left over after expenses, households are struggling to tackle the principal value and reduce their debt.

Anecdotal evidence follows this, with half (51%, +4%) of Manitoba and Saskatchewan residents saying they’re feeling the pinch of higher interest rates and close to half (47%) worrying future interest rate increases could negatively impact their financial situation. Half (51%, -2%) believe rate hikes could both hamper debt repayment efforts and put them in financial jeopardy (50%, +9%). While more than one third (35%) fear they could push them toward bankruptcy.

Two in five Manitoba and Saskatchewan residents are both concerned about their current level of debt (40%) and regretful of the amount of debt they’ve taken on (43%) — indicating for many, it may be time to search for long-term solutions.

It’s important for people to be aware there are systems in place to help provide stability and peace of mind to severely indebted Canadians. Seeking help from a Licensed Insolvency Trustee is, in many cases, the best route to get the relief and financial fresh start they deserve.

Other MNP Consumer Index highlights include:

  • Regionally, more Canadians across the country, with the exception of Atlantic Canadians, have seen an increase in the proportion of residents that are within $200 or less of financial insolvency. In particular, residents of Saskatchewan and Manitoba (56%; +8pts) are the most likely to be financially insolvent, followed by Alberta (48%; +8pts), British Columbia (41%; +6pts), Ontario (46%; +5pts), Quebec (46%; +5pts) and Atlantic Canada (45%; -4pts).
  • Less than four in ten Canadians say they are confident in their ability to cope financially if an unexpected life-changing event were to occur, including: a change in relationship status (36%), having an illness and being unable to work for three months (33%), an unexpected auto repair (31%), loss of employment (30%), a death of an immediate family member (30%) or paying for own or someone else’s education (29%).
  • A year from now, nearly four in ten (36%) Canadians expect their debt situation to improve, whereas nearly half (47%) are counting on the future for improvement, indicating they expect their debt situation to get better five years from now. Though, regardless of the amount of time allotted, net positivity has significantly decreased since September, indicating Canadians are becoming less optimistic about their future debt situation.
  • Fewer Canadians believe in their ability to absorb an interest rate increase of one percentage point or an additional $100 in interest payments, as the gap between those who say it is getting better than worse is tapering.
  • One third (34%) of Canadians say they are worried that someone in their household or themselves will become unemployed.

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 December 7 and December 12. For this survey, a sample of 2,154 was interviewed online. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ±2.4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadian 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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