Looming insolvency is a threat to almost half of Canadians – survey

Nearly one-third also admitted that they don't earn enough to cover their monthly expenses

Looming insolvency is a threat to almost half of Canadians – survey

Nearly half (48%) of Canadians admitted that they are left with less than $200 at the end of every month, the latest Consumer Debt Index (covering September 2019) by MNP indicated.

Another 30% stated that they don’t earn enough to cover their monthly expenses. The Index also found that the average disposable income left in each Canadian household per month was just $557 as of September, having declined noticeably from the $762 level during the same month in 2018.

These figures came along with a rising number of consumer insolvencies nationwide. Data from the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions showed that this metric grew by 8.9% annually in November, for a total of 135,983 insolvencies across Canada.

“Our findings may point to a shift among some Canadians from debt apathy to debt hopelessness,” MNP Ltd. president Grant Bazian said. “Feelings of hopelessness can make people feel like giving up on ever paying down their debt or, worse, ignoring the debt as it piles up higher.”

The MNP analysis further found that 34% are anxious of rising interest rates, saying that these could plunge them into bankruptcy. Only 27% said that they are able to cope with major life-changing events like illnesses or job losses.

More crucially, financial stress is an increasingly prominent issue in Canadian society, not discriminating on the basis of social class or demographics.

According to a recent analysis by the Canadian Payroll Association, around 50% of those polled who have households incomes lower than $50,000 were financially stressed. In the same vein, 20% of those with household incomes of at least $150,000 reported that they still wrestle with financial anxiety.

“Despite what may seem obvious or logical, how much one earns does not necessarily correlate to financial wellness,” the CPA stated in its news release of the study earlier this month.

“Similarly, preconceptions about millennials struggling to make their way in the world and feeling financial stress as a consequence proved to be inaccurate. Fifty per cent of those who are financially stressed are over the age of 40 — 25% of whom have reached the half-century mark.”