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The Latest Reality Check on Debt

Debt Canadians' debt-to-financial assets ratio now exceeds that of all other OECD countries for which data is available.

That’s according to this new Certified General Accountants (CGA) study.

CGA’s report states that…

  • 20% of Canadians feel they have too much debt–versus 17% in 2007
  • 1/4 of respondents wouldn’t be able to handle an unforeseen $5,000 expense (The study didn’t note how many of these people had mortgages.)
  • A 2% mortgage rate increase would require a 9% to 11% reduction in discretionary spending among middle to middle-high income families.
  • 43% of Canadians are “concerned about their financial condition at retirement.” (The reverse mortgage industry will benefit from stats like this, as fewer seniors have sufficient savings apart from their home equity.)

This report comes on the heels of yesterday’s CAAMP survey, which estimated that 475,000 Canadians would be financially challenged if their mortgage rate increased to 5.25%. That’s on top of 375,000 others who are already finding it hard to keep up with mortgage payments.

There are 5.55 million Canadians with mortgages.