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July 24, 2021

More Canadians carrying debt

Nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes...and now debt.

According to a new report from BMO Bank of Montreal, more Canadians are carrying a household debt load (83 per cent) compared to 74 per cent in 2012.

The survey found that mortgage debt was the main source of debt for many Canadians followed by car loans and funding education.

The study also found that the average monthly debt payment has declined, dropping from $1,138 to $986.

However, nearly half of the respondents say their household debt level has decreased overall in the past five years, while 28 per cent admit it has actually increased.

Janet Peddigrew, Vice President, BMO Bank of Montreal, says, "Paying down debt as quickly as possible is essential to the long-term financial stability of Canadian households, so it's encouraging to see that Canadians' debt burdens have eased over the past year.

"Many appear to be getting a head start on reducing their debt levels while interest rates remain at all-time lows, which is prudent because we don't expect rates to stay that way forever."

According to the report, women (32 per cent) are more likely than men (24 per cent) to say that their debt load has increased over the past five years; younger Canadians are the most likely to be increasing their debt load; while those aged 65 and older are more likely to be paying down debt rather than increasing their debt load.

The good news though, is the majority of those with debt (58 per cent) expect to be debt-free within five years.

By Donna Donaldson, MSN Money

Are you finding your household debt load is growing? What is the main source of your debt load?




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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...