Many Canadians signal hopelessness in severe debt traps

Many Canadians signal hopelessness in severe debt traps

Many Canadians signal hopelessness in severe debt traps

Amid mounting financial burdens, fully two-fifths of Canadians believe that they will never escape debt in their lifetimes, according to a recent analysis by the Credit Counselling Society.

Citing figures from Statistics Canada, the study warned that the household debt ratio now sits at 175.9%.

An Ipsos poll on behalf of Manulife Bank also found that 45% of Canadians are spending more than their incomes. As much as 40% indicated a belief that their debts will outlive them, while 67% assumed that everyone else is undergoing the same hardships.

“Unfortunately, these statistics do reflect the financial situation of many Canadians we speak with, who struggle to balance the high cost of living with paying down debts and managing their household budget,” Credit Counselling Society president Scott Hannah said.

A significant proportion of the annual increase in household debt during Q3 2019 came from mortgages, according to Equifax Canada.

On average, Canadians each owed around $72,500 in debt at the end of September, with the amount increasing by 2.1% annually. The mortgage market grew by 4.5% year-over-year to $1.32 billion, while overall consumer credit shot up by 4.1% to $1.966 billion.

Furthermore, 94% of those polled by Ipsos admitted that the average Canadian household is shouldering too much debt, and 84% agreed that paying this debt off is a top priority.

“With so many Canadians relying on credit cards and other means of lending, the stress of being in debt has simply become a normal part of life. Carrying overwhelming amounts of debt and having limited means to pay them down, it’s understandable that many consider it an impossible situation to resolve,” Hannah added.