Canadians Comfortable With Debt Level

By Andrew Rickard | June 23 2015 11:10AM

Most Canadians say they are comfortable with the amount of debt they are carrying, but two out of five say they don’t want to take on any more.

In a recent survey conducted for CIBC, two thirds of the respondents said they can manage the amount of debt they have comfortably, while one third say they have reached their limit.

Market research firm Angus Reid asked more than 3000 Canadian adults how they feel about the amount of debt they have; 25% of the respondents described themselves as "very comfortable" with the amount they owe, while 41% said they were "fairly comfortable" but would prefer not to take on any more debt.

As for those who said they were uncomfortable with their liabilities, 23% of them said they are able to cope but any change to their current situation would present a problem while the remaining 11% said they have more debt than they can handle and are feeling “financially squeezed”.

CIBC notes that those age 65 over were less likely to hold a mortgage (16%) than other age groups, and this demographic was also more likely to be free of debt (56%). Among younger Canadians aged 18 to 24 who are just starting out and tend to have lower salaries, the poll shows that the most common types of debt are student loans (37%) and credit card debt (20%).

The poll also revealed that 31% of those who already owe money went even deeper into debt over the last year, citing a mix of necessary and discretionary purchases such as buying a new car, going on vacation, and repairing or renovating their homes.