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One in three Canadians struggles with non-mortgage debts, Credit Counselling Society says

Click to play video: 'One in three Canadians struggling with non-mortgage debt' One in three Canadians struggling with non-mortgage debt
One in three Canadians struggling with non-mortgage debt – Feb 3, 2022

Some Canadians are feeling uncertain and anxious about their financial situations and future, according to the Credit Counselling Society.

“About a third are saying their finances are in the worst shape (than before the pandemic),” said Scott Hannah, Credit Counselling Society’s president.

“It’s the non-mortgage that gets people in trouble. Carrying large balances on credit cards (which typically have large interest rates around 20 per cent or higher) and having a car payment, which is a fixed expense every single month, because in these uncertain times you don’t know if you will be able to maintain those payments.”

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A recent report from the company, outlining Canadian’s financial health since the beginning of the pandemic, finds that thousands of Canadians are holding at least $10,000 of non-mortgage debt.

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One of the biggest debt factors for Canadians is rising inflation costs.

“Prices of everything have gone up dramatically. It’s really having a severe impact for those whose incomes have not gone up, they are feeling the pinch, and are having to make some (tough) decisions,” said Hannah.

Global News talked to some local residents, asking if they have heard of these financial issues.

“Well of course, people are having stress between COVID and inflation costs,” said Peter Nicolson, a Kelowna resident.

“But, we’ll get through it.“

“I’ve certainly heard about it but it’s nothing new. The cost of living (has gone up), you got to work hard to make money to survive. I’m retired but I planned for it, so I’m okay,” said one Kelowna resident who did not supply his name.

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Hannah encourages Canadians that are struggling with non-mortgage debt to reach out for help.

“One of the things we hear from clients time and time again is, ‘I wish I had addressed this sooner’, and whether it was going to a family or trusted friend whos good with finances and say here is where I am at or come to an organization like ours to get that help. It’s good to get an objective perspective,” said Hannah.

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Another factor to monitor are interest rates. Financial experts believe interest rates will increase in the near future, just another hurdle for Canadians to face.

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