May 8, 2017 9:10 am

Manitobans struggling to pay debt: survey

WATCH: How you can take steps to get out of debt in 2017.

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Manitobans may be digging themselves more in debt due to a lack of financial literacy, according to a new survey.

The MNP Consumer Debt Sentiment Survey is a semi-annual poll that tracks Canadians’ feelings about their debt and their ability to meet their monthly financial obligations.

The survey asked people in Saskatchewan and Manitoba about their debt and found 40 per cent of people surveyed said they are concerned about their current level of debt. Half of the respondents said they regret the amount of debt they have taken on.

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More than half of Manitobans surveyed said they are $200 or less per month away from not being able to pay their bills or debt obligations.

The survey also found people in Manitoba are the least confident group in Canada when it comes to their ability to set and follow a budget for emergencies.

“Manitoba residents have struggled financially and what seems to be the tipping point is that many are lacking the basic financial literacy skills to manage their living expenses and debt repayments,” Gord Neudorf with MNP said.

“People are cutting it very close. That very small amount of wiggle room won’t help much if there is a major emergency expense like an unexpected vehicle or home repair. Without a rainy-day fund, many end up taking on more debt and even high-cost loans to cover their bills. Before they realize it, their debts are far beyond what they can manage,” he said.

RELATED: Many Manitobans living paycheque to paycheque: study

Despite the anxiety around debt and the lack of skills to manage it, the survey also found the vast majority of Manitoba respondents facing insolvency have not sought out professional help.

This survey was conducted online by Ipsos on behalf of MNP Debt between March 27 and April 30, 2017. The estimated margin of error for the total sample is +/- 2.9 percentage points 19 times out of 20.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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