Canadians are increasingly pessimistic about household debt, with one in five saying it is worse than it was five years ago and fewer confident it will improve in the year ahead, according to a new poll.
The MNP Consumer Debt Index, which measures Canadians’ attitude toward consumer debt, dropped five points to its lowest ever recorded in March 2018.
“Our findings may point to a shift from debt apathy to debt hopelessness among some Canadians,” says Grant Bazian, president of MNP Ltd. “Feelings of hopelessness can make people feel like giving up on ever paying down their debt — or worse, ignoring the debt as it piles up higher.”
Almost half of Canadians (49%) say they aren’t confident they will be able to cover their expenses this year without going further into debt.
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Nearly three in 10 Canadians (29%) in the survey of 2,000 say they are already insolvent or unable to meet monthly financial obligations. This rises to 50% when including those who say they are $200 or less away from being insolvent at month’s end.
The survey also found that about three in 10 (27%) of Canadians are confident they could weather a major disruption such as serious illness or job loss without going into more debt.