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Are Canadians drowning in debt?

Around two in five Canadians are becoming increasingly hopeless about escaping debts in their lifetime, according to the latest findings from Manulife Bank Debt Survey.

The majority of the survey respondents think that the average Canadian household is in serious debt. The study found that there has been an increase in the number of Canadians who have considerable non-mortgage-related debts, from 46% last year to 55% this year.

"There is a financial wellness crisis, and it's affecting Canadians of all demographics," said Rick Lunny, president and CEO of Manulife Bank.

Spending continues to be a huge burden for many Canadians, with the average spending-to-income ratio trending negatively from 33% to 45%. Only around one in 10 Canadians said their incomes are rising faster than their expenses.

Furthermore, around one in three Canadians said debts hinder them from doing things in life that they could enjoy.

Baby boomers said they are in better financial shape than their Generation X and millennial counterparts. Roughly 60% of baby boomers said they are better off financially than their parents were at the same age, compared to just under half of Gen-Xers and millennials.

Of the three, Gen-Xers perceive themselves to be in the most debt. They are also most likely to report that their expenses are outpacing their incomes. This generation is also the most sceptical about ever being debt-free in their lifetime.

Millennials, on the other hand, are most likely to report stronger incomes than spending. They also feel more in control of their financial situation through the help of technology. The study found that three in four millennials think it is essential to have access to financial plans online, preferably through an app.

by Gerv Tacadena04 Dec 2019

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