Do mortgage loans hamper Canadians' finances?

While a mortgage could put a significant dent in finances, Canadian mortgage holders appear to be in a better financial condition that those with non-mortgage debt, according to a study by DUCA Impact Lab and Angus Reid.

The study found that nearly nine in 10 mortgage holders have good personal financial management, compared to just seven in 10 non-mortgage borrowers. In terms of credit score, four in five mortgage holders report a good rating, compared to only three in five non-mortgage holders.

"Borrowers who have a mortgage are more likely to be wealthy and older, report a good credit score and a better ability to manage their personal finances," the study said.

The study also found that stress about personal debt is prevalent and it’s resulting in unhealthy behaviour, especially amongst those without mortgages.

"Stress levels are highest among those with payday and student loans," the study said.

Amongst borrowers stressed about personal debt, more than half eat out less and do not sleep well. They also tend to spend more time alone, buy less healthy food, exercise less, and skip meals.

"Over half of borrowers say personal debt has impacted their opportunity to save and build wealth," the study said.

Personal debt has also impacted borrowers' healthcare needs, with around 26% claiming that their loans affected their ability to afford dental care.

The infographic below shows how personal debt affects the life and healthcare needs of borrowers:

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