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Half of Atlantic Canadians regret their level of debt: survey

By Brad Perry Jul 12, 2023 | 4:13 PM

Atlantic Canadians are feeling more negatively about their debt than any other province.

That is one of the findings in the latest quarterly MNP Consumer Debt Index released this week.

More than half of Atlantic Canadians (57 per cent) said they regret the amount of debt they have taken on.

That is an increase of 10 points compared to three months ago and is the highest rate in the country.

Half said they are concerned about their current debt level, up from 46 per cent three months earlier.

“The growing pressure of household bills and food prices have exacerbated Atlantic Canadians’ financial anxiety,” Tina Powell, a licensed insolvency trustee at MNP LTD, said in a news release.

Just over half of Atlantic Canadians said they are within $200 of not being able to meet all of their financial obligations, which is also up from last quarter.

With interest rates continuing to rise, many people are trying to do what they can to cut their expenses.

In fact, nearly 90 per cent of Atlantic Canadians said they will be careful with how they spend their money.

But despite their efforts, three-quarters said they are spending at least $100 more every week on essentials than a year ago, with the average increase being $208.

“Even as households tighten their belts and exercise increased caution with their spending habits, some are realizing there is simply nothing else to cut back on,” said Powell.

“They have already reduced their entertainment costs, and are shopping the cheapest items at the grocery store, yet they are still having a hard time covering essential expenses like their rent or mortgage, or even affording food for the table.”

If you are having problems and anticipate missing payments, Powell recommends contacting your lender to see if you can set up a payment plan that fits within your means.

The data was compiled by Ipsos on behalf of MNP LTD between June 1 and 6, 2023. A sample of 2,000 Canadians was interviewed, and the pole is accurate to within ±2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.


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