In a Nov. 22, 2019 story, a Manulife Bank of Canada debt survey showed 40 per cent of indebted Canadians don’t expect to escape debt during their life. (File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Two in five indebted Canadians don’t ever expect to escape debt, says survey

TORONTO — A new survey says 40 per cent of indebted Canadians don’t expect to escape debt in their lifetimes.

The Manulife Bank of Canada debt survey also found that 94 per cent of respondents agreed that the average household has too much debt while 67 per cent of those in debt assumed everyone else was as well.

While 45 per cent of Canadians said their spending is increasing faster than their income, up from 33 per cent who said so in the spring. Just 12 per cent of those asked said their income is growing faster than their spending.

More than half (55 per cent) of Canadians reported considerable non-mortgage debt, up nine percentage points from a spring survey. Sixty per cent say they have credit cards carrying a balance, up from 48 per cent in the spring.

The online survey was conducted amid growing concerns about the country’s high level of consumer indebtedness as total debt per consumer surged to $71,979 in the second quarter, up from about $57,000 five years earlier.

The poll, conducted between Sept. 20 and 26, surveyed 2,001 Canadians in all provinces aged 20 to 69 with household income of more than $40,000. Internet-based surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because online polls are not considered random samples.

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