46% of Canadians $200 or less away from financial insolvency: poll

CALGARY — The number of Canadians who are $200 or less away from financial insolvency at month-end has jumped to 46 per cent, up from 40 per cent in the previous quarter, as interest rates rise according to a new poll.

A survey conducted for insolvency firm MNP Ltd. in December also found that 31 per cent of Canadians say they don’t make enough to cover their bills and debt payments, up seven percentage points from the September poll.

The results released Monday also indicated that 51 per cent of respondents say they are feeling the pinch of interest rate increases, up from 45 per cent a quarter ago.

“Many have so little wiggle room that any increase in living costs or interest payments can tip them over the edge,” said MNP’s president Grant Bazian in a statement. “That’s what we are seeing happen right now.”

As well, 45 per cent of those surveyed say they will need to go further into debt to pay their living and family expenses.

Canadians’ finances have come under increased pressure after the Bank of Canada introduced five rate hikes since mid-2017, in response to the stronger economy. Central bank governor Stephen Poloz kept his benchmark interest rate unchanged earlier this month at 1.75 per cent, but has signalled that more rate increases will still be necessary “over time.”

MNP’s latest survey also showed that half of Canadians surveyed said they believe they could be in financial trouble if rates continue to rise, up five percentage points from the previous poll.

“Higher interest rates combined with household expenses that outweigh income mean that some are unable to make any kind of meaningful reduction in their debt and, in fact, continue to take on more especially if they encounter unexpected expenses,” Bazian said.

Insolvency concerns rose across the country, with the exception of Atlantic Canadians, said MNP.

Saskatchewan and Manitoba residents were the most likely to be near insolvency, at 56 per cent, up eight percentage points from the previous poll, MNP said. Alberta residents were second at 48 per cent, up eight points. Ontario and Quebec followed at 46 per cent each, up six and five percentage points, respectively. Among residents surveyed in Atlantic Canada, 45 per cent said they were $200 or less away from the financial brink, but that marked a decrease of four percentage points from the September survey.

Ipsos, which conducts the quarterly poll for MNP, surveyed 2,154 Canadians online from Dec. 7 to Dec. 12.

The polling industry’s professional body, the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, says online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because they do not randomly sample the population.

Just Posted

Country star Gord Bamford and The Reklaws perform free Games concert Friday

Show starts at 6:30 p.m. in heated dome off Celebration Plaza in downtown Red Deer

U.S. franchisee files suit against Tim Hortons, alleging price gouging

Weeks after achieving a breakthrough in two class-action lawsuits with restive Canadian… Continue reading

Japanese spacecraft to attempt landing on distant asteroid

TOKYO — A Japanese spacecraft began its approach Thursday toward a distant… Continue reading

Baby boom for endangered right whales offer researchers a glimmer of hope

After years of increasingly bad news, there’s a glimmer of hope for… Continue reading

Proposed edible pot rules are wasteful, would leave products tasteless: critics

VANCOUVER — Canada’s proposed edible pot regulations would result in tasteless products… Continue reading

Gaudreau snaps goal drought to help Flames double up Islanders 4-2

CALGARY — The drought is over for Johnny Gaudreau. Gaudreau’s first goal… Continue reading

Federal government set to develop code of conduct for sport in Canada

OTTAWA — The federal government is developing a code of conduct for… Continue reading

Jay Baruchel has trained the dragon, now he’s letting go with ‘The Hidden World’

TORONTO — The first time actor Jay Baruchel stepped into a recording… Continue reading

Hockey ref says AC/DC support is giving him motivation in Alzheimer’s fundraiser

Enthusiastic AC/DC fan Steve McNeil says he’s feeling inspired to push even… Continue reading

Gardening: What are you planting in 2019?

What’s new in plants for 2019? Checking catalogues, greenhouses and stores will… Continue reading

Opinion: I spy another energy hypocrite

Talk about biting the hand that feeds you. The mittens provided to… Continue reading

Canada’s bobsleigh team races World Cup on Calgary home track facing closure

CALGARY — Canada’s skeleton and bobsled teams will race a World Cup… Continue reading

Italy becomes ninth international football league to join forces with CFL

TORONTO — Add Italy to the growing list of international football federations… Continue reading

Most Read