Debt will remain a fixture of many Canadians' lives for a long time

Debt will remain a fixture of many Canadians' lives for a long time

Debt will remain a fixture of many Canadians

A significant proportion of Canada’s borrowers are bracing themselves for several more years of paying off their debts, according to the latest edition of the Canadian Payroll Association’s annual survey.

The study found that 43% of Canadians have resigned themselves to the fact that it will take them 10 years to settle their accountabilities. This was a significant increase from the 36% in 2016.

Meanwhile, 72% said that they have managed to save only one-quarter or less of the retirement stash that they need.

The results are especially troubling in light of the increasing debt loads that Canada is taking on. The survey found that 40% of working Canadians said that they are overwhelmed by debt, increasing from the 35% proportion last year. Full 34% stated that their total dues have grown over the year, up from 31% in 2017.

Respondents mainly attributed their increased debt to higher living costs (27%) and unexpected expenses (20%).

Read more: Two-thirds of Canadians regret their debt – study

“Unfortunately, we’ve been seeing these financial trends for a number of years now, and I can’t stress enough the importance of tracking your spending, establishing a budget, creating an emergency fund and finding ways to pay down your debt,” Credit Counselling Society president Scott Hannah said.

“We are hearing from Canadians who are carrying an average debt load of $30,000 – people are feeling the stress of today’s debt and wondering how they will cope with higher rates in the future and the possibility of higher unemployment as a result of a drawn-out trade war,” Hannah added.

“While Canadians can’t control interest rates or the economy, they have the ability to take positive steps to improve their financial wellbeing while the rates are still relatively low.”