More than any other province, Albertans are feeling the pinch from interest rate hikes, fearing financial trouble and a march towards bankruptcy should rates continue to rise.

MNP Ltd., Canada’s largest personal insolvency practice, released its latest consumer debt index Monday, finding Albertans lead the nation in fretting over rising interest rates, with some 55 per cent already feeling the impact of previous hikes, about 12 per cent more than the national average.

Adding to those jitters is a sense among more than half (52 per cent) of Alberta respondents expect they will be in financial trouble should rates continue to climb, while 43 per cent fear they’ll be forced to consider bankruptcy under those circumstances. In all those cases, the Maritime provinces trail Albertans with similar feelings of financial disquiet.

Albertans were also most likely at 20 per cent to rate their personal debt situation as “terrible,” compared to their provincial peers.

MNP president Grant Bazian said the survey of Canadians shows many are teetering on the brink of financial ruin.

“Nearly half of outstanding mortgages have interest rate renewals within a year so monthly mortgage payments are set to rise for a huge proportion of people,” he said.

“But a staggering percentage of Canadians say they already don’t have any wiggle room at all.”

On almost every measure in the poll, respondents indicated a significantly increased level of unease over their finances than they did six months ago.

Nearly half of those polled (46 per cent) believe they’re now $200 or less away from financial insolvency after covering bills and debt at the end of the month, one of the few areas in which Albertans at 41 per cent came in lower than the national average.

Similarly, 47 per cent of respondents don’t believe they’ll be able to cover all their living and family …read more

Source:: Calgary Herald


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