Wednesday, February 17, 2016

HOUSEHOLD DEBT LEVELS GROWING

The Canadian Press is reporting that an Ipsos Reid survey says nearly half of Canadians surveyed last month are within $200 per month of being unable to pay for their bills and make their debt payments.

The online poll found about one-quarter of the 1,582 people who responded were unable to cover their bills and debt payments.  31 per cent of respondents said any increase in interest rates could move them towards bankruptcy. 

Canada's Parliamentary Budget Officer released a report last month indicating that Canadian households are carrying the biggest debt-to-income loads in the Group of Seven. The report stated that in the third quarter of 2015, household debt reached 171 per cent of disposable income. That means that for every $100 of disposable income, households had debt obligations of $171.

Statistics Canada offered some balance to the household debt equation.  While median debt is up the assets of of families with debt continues to rise. Most of the debt owed by is mortgage debt which can be serviced. The National Post article "The good, the bad and the ugly of Canadian household debt: Should we be worried?" puts it all in perspective.

Want some help figuring out your debt level and learning how to better manage it? 

Check out the Office of Consumer Affairs website which features an online tool from the Government of Canada. The site also offers helpful information on making a budget and budget counselling, collection agencies, credit and credit repair.

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