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Canadians taking extra steps to tackle debt load

By Robert Hof

Another excellent piece from The Globe and MailRobert

The majority of Canadians are in debt but nearly half of them are trying  to pay off their dues ahead of schedule, according to a survey conducted for a major bank.

The study, commissioned by CIBC, found that 72 per cent of respondents said they held some form of debt such as a mortgage, student loan or credit card.

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However, about 49 per cent of those responding to a phone survey conducted for CIBC said they’ve made an extra lump sum payment in the last year to try and bring down what they owed.

“Debt management is top of mind for Canadians, and these poll results show that many Canadians are taking steps towards reducing their debt,” said Christina Kramer, CIBC executive vice-president of retail distribution.

The bank said the results show that Canadians are focused on reducing their debts amid warnings about rising household debt.

The Bank of Canada and some economists have warned that Canadians are piling on too much debt while interest rates are low, and some may no longer be able to afford their homes when interest rates rise.

CIBC said that while the findings show many Canadians are conscious of debt management, past research has suggested that most are likely to seek out advice about retirement planning before they pursue financial guidance on their debts.

The phone survey was conducted by Harris-Decima from a poll of 2,003 Canadians between March 22 and April 2.

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