Significantly Fewer Manitoba Residents Hovering Close To Financial Insolvency

2019-04-02   minute read

Pamela Meger

MNP Consumer Debt Index

The number of Manitoba residents who say they are $200 or less each month away from financial insolvency decreased ten points since December. Significantly fewer say they are concerned about their current level of debt.

WINNIPEG, MB – Fewer Manitoba residents are hovering close to financial insolvency than was the case just a few months ago, according to the latest MNP Consumer Debt Index; a quarterly survey conducted by Ipsos on behalf of MNP LTD. The number of Manitoba residents who say they are $200 or less each month away from financial insolvency decreased ten points. Under half (46%) now say they are in this position including more than a quarter (27%) who say they have no wiggle room at month-end, as they already don’t make enough to cover their bills and debt payments, down 9 points.

Night view of Downtown Winnipeg

“Things appear to be improving but the reality is that there are still far too many households that simply cannot make ends meet, however hard they try,” says Pamela Meger, a Licensed Insolvency Trustee with MNP LTD, the country’s largest insolvency firm. 

Despite the fact that fewer are hovering close to financial insolvency at month-end, half are still worried about their ability to repay debts (54%) or believe they could be in financial trouble (46%) if interest rates increase.

“People are maxed out with no real plan for paying back what they have borrowed. This raises many alarming questions about how and if consumer debt will be repaid, particularly if conditions deteriorate or interest rates rise,” says Meger.

Consumer insolvencies were up 19.4 per cent in Manitoba in February compared to the same time last year, according to the latest data from the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy.

Even as the Bank of Canada holds interest rates steady, concerns over interest rates have grown somewhat since December. Half (49%) say they are concerned about the impact of rising interest rates on their financial situation, up two points. Thirty-six per cent still say a rate increase could move them towards bankruptcy.

Significantly fewer (40%) Manitoba residents say they won’t be able to cover all living and family expenses in the next 12 months without taking on more debt, down seven points. Fewer are also concerned about their current level of debt (36%; -4pts) and regret the amount of debt they have taken on in their life (39%; -4pts).

As Manitoba residents’ debt anxieties begin to subside, they are also somewhat optimistic about their financial future, as a year from now, more than a third (36%; +1pt) expect their debt situation to improve, and five years from now, nearly half (45%) believe their situation will improve.

“Getting out of debt is possible but the first step is to ask for help from a licensed professional,” says Meger.

Licensed Insolvency Trustees are the only federally regulated debt professionals empowered to provide a full range of debt relief options including consumer proposals, bankruptcies, informal debt settlements, and debt consolidation.

About MNP Debt

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 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 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. to learn more. The latest Index data was compiled by Ipsos on behalf of MNP LTD between March 13 and March 24, 2019. For this survey, a sample of 2,070 was interviewed online. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ±2.5 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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