1 in 3 fear rate rises could move them towards bankruptcy

By Steve Randall

With the Bank of Canada widely expected to increase interest rates Wednesday, a poll from debt advisors MNP shows rising concern over higher rates.

The survey, conducted by Ipsos, found that 1 in 3 Canadians are worried that rising interest rates could push them towards bankruptcy, up 6% since June.

More than half (52%) of respondents said that they are concerned about affording their debts as rates climb, that’s up 3% since June.

The share of those who say they are feeling the effects or recent rate rises; and the share who say future rises could put them in financial trouble; both hit 45%.

Almost two thirds of both Millennial and Gen X respondents are concerned about the impact of interest rate rises on their ability to service debts, while Boomers are less concerned (40%).

The poll reveals that 80% will cut back on spending to counter the effects of rising rates and there is some optimism about debt situations with 28% saying theirs has improved in the past year, 39% expecting improvement in the next year, and 50% saying improvement will be within 5 years.

Two in five said they regret the level of debt they have.

Albertans (20%) are most likely to say their current debt situation is worse, followed by residents of Atlantic Canada (17%), Saskatchewan and Manitoba (15%), Ontario (13%), Quebec (10%), and British Columbia (8%).

Quebec residents (49%) are most likely to rate their personal debt situation as good, followed by residents British Columbia (45%), Ontario (38%), Saskatchewan and Manitoba (34%), Alberta (33%) and Atlantic Canada (28%).

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