Canadian household debt nears record levels

Many Canadians are struggling to manage their household debt

TORONTO, ON, Jun 15, 2016 – Canadian households are under a lot of financial strain. Statistics Canada says household credit market debt such as consumer credit, mortgages and non-mortgage loans rose to a record of $1.93-trillion in the first quarter of 2016.canadian household debt

Nevertheless, Statistics Canada also reported that Canadian household debt levels decreased to 165.3 per cent for the first quarter of 2016 from 165.4 per cent of the fourth quarter a year prior. In dollars and cents, this works out to $1.65 in credit market debt for every dollar of disposable income.

“Although there were slight improvements from quarter to quarter, Canadian household debt nears record levels. Many Canadians are struggling to manage their household debt and it’s affecting many areas of their lives,” says Jeffrey Schwartz, executive director, Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada.

“When you are unable to go to the grocery store as you want to or you are stuck with difficult decisions of what bills to pay on a monthly basis – it can be a very tough financial situation to be in,” says Schwartz.

Consolidated Credit recognizes many Canadians are strapped for cash, so in an effort to alleviate some of the cash crunch, Consolidated Credit offers the following tips:

  1. Downsize your lifestyle. Take a walk through your home and physically look at your belongings. If you have clothes you hardly wear or clothes with the price tags still on it, it is a perfect time to hold a garage sale. Not only will you de-clutter your life you will make some extra cash on the side.
  2. Stop with the shiny new purchases. Impulse purchases may feel good in the moment however they add up over time. Keep money in your pocket by limiting your impulse purchases. Grab a calculator and add up all of your impulsive purchases. You may be shocked at what you see – remember those purchases could’ve been extra money in your pocket. Don’t blur the line between needs and wants.
  3. Download a budgeting app to get your finances in order. Create a budget and stick to it. You can manage your household finances on the go, right from your smart phone.  When you understand how much money you have coming in and where it is going out, it is easier to take back control of your household finances.
  4. Save for a rainy day. Every little bit helps. If you can afford it, you can start to put away 10 to 15 per cent of your paycheque in a savings account. If you are unable to do that, aim for 5 per cent. The point is to start to save today before it’s too late. For added convenience, make it invisible, ask your bank to automatically deduct money from each paycheque and deposit it into a savings account.
  5. Grab a life jacket for support. Debt can grow into a greedy beast if you let it get out of control. Recognize when it is too much to handle and get help. Many consumers are struggling with debt right now so you are not alone. Seek the guidance of a trained credit counsellor. They will review your household finances and help you sleep at night again.


About Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc.:

Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada is a national non-profit credit counselling organization that teaches consumers about personal finance.

For more information or to request an interview with Jeffrey Schwartz, please contact:

Natasha Carr, Community and Public Relations Manager, Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc., T: 416-915-7283 ext.1041, C: 416-830-4720, F: 416-915-5200, E: [email protected]

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