Indebted Canadians say they would need a significant raise in order to live debt-free: Survey
Canadians are spreading the blame around for their indebtedness, a survey released on Monday shows.
Forty-five per cent of respondents to the survey conducted on behalf of MNP said they blame themselves for the amount of debt they've incurred. Meanwhile, 20 per cent blame others, including their spouse, the government and the Bank of Canada.
"People who blame themselves often feel like they have to deal with the debt alone. The shame and guilt prevents them from taking action or asking for the help that they might desperately need," said MNP President Grant Bazian in a press release. "Confronting debt can be a depressing reality at first, but with the numerous options available to Canadians, debt relief is possible."
The survey also shows highly indebted Canadians face an uphill battle to wipe the slate clean.
Nearly six out of every 10 respondents (58 per cent) said their household income would have to rise substantially in order for them to survive without debt; on average, respondents said their household would have to see a 37 per cent surge in income in order to shake their debt habits.
“It used to be that people would save for big purchases and have some money tucked away for emergencies. Now Canadians look straight to HELOCs or credit cards or other forms of debt when it comes to paying for unexpected car repairs, home maintenance, and even basic household expenses," Bazian added.
The survey results come just two days before the Bank of Canada will release an interest rate decision, at which time much of the attention will circle around Canadians' sensitivity to higher rates amid near-record debt levels.
Indeed, according to data released by Statistics Canada in March, Canadians owe a little more than $1.70 in credit market debt for every dollar of disposable income.
“When debt becomes a financial survival tool it makes people particularly vulnerable to exploitative and high-cost lending," Bazian said. "They have to spend more to service their debts – particularly as interest rates rise – so they have less money to make ends meet. And so begins the vicious cycle of debt."