Report: Fewer Manitoba and Saskatchewan residents are concerned about the impact of interest rates on their financial situation, down 10 points since last quarter

2022-10-24  5 minute read

Tanya Reynolds

Lifestyle Debt

Three in 10 say they’re better equipped to absorb an interest rate increase of one percentage point than they used to be (+12 pts)

Night view of Downtown Winnipeg

WINNIPEG, MB – October 24, 2022 – As another Bank of Canada interest rate announcement looms, a recent poll conducted by Ipsos on behalf of MNP LTD finds Manitoba and Saskatchewan residents are the least likely (53%) to say they’re concerned about the impact of rising interest rates on their financial situation compared to the other provinces, dropping a significant 10 points since last quarter. They’re also the least likely (80%) to say they will be more careful with how they spend their money as interest rates rise — a nine-point decrease since last quarter.

“It’s surprising to see that Manitoba and Saskatchewan residents are feeling less concerned about the impact of repeated interest rate hikes this year. It’s also concerning that fewer individuals are planning to be cautious with their spending as rates rise,” says Tanya Reynolds, a Licensed Insolvency Trustee with MNP LTD in Winnipeg. “We have yet to see the full impact of this year’s interest rate increases. With more potentially ahead, it’s too early to start loosening the reigns.”

Compared to the other provinces, Manitoba and Saskatchewan residents are the most likely (29%) to say they’re better equipped to absorb an interest rate increase of one percentage point than they used to be, increasing a staggering 12 points. Meanwhile, slightly more (23%, +2pts) say their ability to deal with this increase has worsened this quarter. When asked about their ability to absorb an interest rate increase of an extra $130, nearly one in five (16%, unchanged) say it’s much better, while one in three (36%, -2pts) say it’s much worse.

“More Manitoba and Saskatchewan residents believe they’re better prepared for an interest rate increase than last quarter, but it’s important to note that these individuals are still in the minority. Many may not fully understand the impact of an interest rate increase on their financial situation,” says Reynolds. “Those who are having difficulty meeting all of their debt repayment obligations should seek professional guidance to deal with the debt they have taken on.”

Many Manitoba and Saskatchewan residents do still have concerns about their debt load. More than half (56%) say they’re more concerned about their ability to pay their debts as interest rates rise, jumping a significant seven points since last quarter. Six in 10 (59%, -2pts) say they’re already beginning to feel the effects of interest rate increases. Approximately one in three (34%) say they don’t have a solid understanding of how interest rate increases impact their financial situation.

Reynolds says those who are financially vulnerable and struggling to make ends meet may not be able to cut back their budgets any further if rising interest rates continue to make their debts more unaffordable.

“Many have already done their best to slash their budget and shave off as many expenses as possible. Any future interest rate hikes could force them to pile on more debt to keep up with their bills. Unfortunately, the cost of servicing that debt is also ballooning, which makes it far more difficult to pay off that debt,” explains Reynolds. “Individuals in that position should seek professional debt help from a Licensed Insolvency Trustee before the debt snowballs further.”

While Licensed Insolvency Trustees can administer debt-relief options including Consumer Proposals and Bankruptcy, they’re also qualified to provide valuable personalized debt advice to individuals who are struggling to budget for their bills and debt repayment obligations. Licensed Insolvency Trustees can also help individuals reduce their debts through an informal debt settlement, a voluntary arrangement negotiated between an individual and their creditors, which will help put them in a better financial position as the cost of borrowing continues to rise.

Reynolds adds that many can think about making small budget changes to give themselves some breathing room.

“Monthly subscriptions can be sneaky and really add up. Sometimes people don’t notice those smaller expenses on their credit card, which might include TV streaming, apps, music, and cloud services,” says Reynolds. “The key is to always look over your bills each month with a critical eye to those recurring monthly expenditures and cut down on costs where possible. Cancel subscriptions you rarely or no longer use and check to see if you have any overlapping services that you can cut down on. Set reminders to cancel any trial offers before you’re charged or the pricing is set to increase.”

Almost half of Manitoba and Saskatchewan residents (47%, -8pts) say they will be in financial trouble if interest rates go up much more. Nearly four in 10 (37%,-1pt) say rising rates could drive them closer to Bankruptcy.

About MNP LTD

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 MNPdebt.ca 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 Survey

The data was compiled by Ipsos on behalf of MNP LTD between September 6 and September 13, 2022. 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.

National data is available upon request.