Albertans are feeling the effects of the Fort McMurray crisis and a crippling oil industry
TORONTO, ON, July 28, 2016 – The debt loads of many Albertans are too heavy to carry. Consumer insolvency rates jumped 35 per cent year -over-year according to the latest report from the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy Canada.
The findings from the report are in line with expectations given the challenges in Alberta from the Fort McMurray wild-fire crisis and the troubles of the oil industry. On a national level, consumer insolvency rates increased 4.7 per cent in comparison to the 35 per cent increase in Alberta.
“It is unfortunate so many Albertans are struggling to stay afloat with their debt management. It may feel like they’re jumping into the deep end and they don’t know how to swim. Given the current economic climate in Alberta, this troubling trend may continue for months to come,” says Jeffrey Schwartz, executive director, Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada.
“I understand it can be overwhelming to have a massive debt load hanging over your head however if consumers take the necessary steps to manage their debts by speaking to a trusted financial advisor, the financial burden they’re experiencing can be lifted,” says Schwartz.
Although many Albertans are feeling the pinch in their finances, other provinces are experiencing a rise in consumer insolvencies too:
- Newfoundland and Labrador up 30.9 per cent
- Saskatchewan increased 24.8 per cent
“Given the challenges some provinces are experiencing it is imperative for Canadians in these provinces to get their financial house in order. When you plan for your future, you protect your present,” says Schwartz.
Consolidated Credit understands some Canadians may not know where to turn or how to even start to get their financial house in order. To help Canadians across Canada get on the right track, Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada offers some tips:
Create a sense of control
When you have lost your job or you experience a reduction of hours at work, you may feel hopeless and your sense of control gone. You can add some control in your life by creating a household budget. Your budget will create a clear picture of where you stand. Make the necessary cuts to your budget to help you stay afloat. Really think– do you need to have the best cable package or can you downgrade to basic cable?
Control contactless payments
Canadians love using contactless payments to pay for everything under the sun. Convenience is great however if you do not watch how much you are tapping on a monthly basis, you can tap your way into a mountain of debt. So set limits on your tap and go purchases in order to tap what you can afford.
Avoid the payday loan cycle
When you are trying to come to terms with a shortage of income, it is common to turn to debt to make up for the shortfall. However payday loans can add more burden to your financial situation if you do not pay the loan back within the two week timeframe. Payday loans are a vicious cycle because the loans have high interest rates and most users of this service are not able to pay back the loan within the two week period. As a consequence, consumers are burdened with more debt on top of the debt they already have.
Seek credit counselling
For some Canadians, it can be hard to admit they need help however debt can grow by leaps and bounds in record time if you allow it. Canadians can stay on top of their finances by seeking the help of a trained credit counsellor. A credit counsellor will help you create a budget and live within your means.
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]