2022 Survey Results

See our findings on the financial health of Canadians.

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Consumer Debt Report

After helping thousands of Canadians weather the financial storm brought on by the pandemic this year, we’ve heard time and again that this year has been a wake up call for many. With this in mind, we wanted to get a deeper understanding of how people are doing when it comes to managing their finances. This survey of over 1,000 Canadians provides important insights into the debt, perceptions, feelings, financial management skills, and future outlook for people across the country.

Key Findings 

  • More Canadians feel pessimistic about their personal finances heading into 2022.
  • Most Canadians are carrying non-mortgage debt, with many feeling anxious and worried as a result.
  • While most debt-holders are managing their debt, one-in-ten are unable to manage their debt and are falling behind on payments
  • Indebted Canadians are just as likely to lean on credit cards as they are their personal savings for financial support.

State of Personal Finances

Canadians are split in terms of their financial health, with large portions of the population feeling anxious about their personal finances and others feeling confident. COVID-19 has perpetuated this divide with equal portions of the country saying their finances have improved or worsened during the pandemic.

Spending less on non-essentials is one of the key ways for Canadians to regain control of their finances and a sense of optimism moving forward.

Credit Counselling Couple
  • 27% feel anxious about their current financial situation. 27% 27%
  • 31% feel worse about their financial position today vs. the beginning of the pandemic. 31% 31%
  • 76% of Canadians with a worsened financial situation say spending more on essentials is the top contributor. 76% 76%
  • 28% feel pessimistic about their personal finances heading into 2022. 28% 28%
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Debt and Savings

Most Canadians are carrying non-mortgage debt, with many feeling anxious and worried as a result. While most debt-holders are managing their debt, one-in-ten are unable to manage their debt and are falling behind on payments.

In terms of supports, indebted Canadians are just as likely to lean on credit as they are their nest egg for support, with credit cards and personal savings being the most common supports leveraged.

  • 65% are carrying non-mortgage debt. 65% 65%
  • 31% are having difficulty paying down their debt (making minimum payments or less). 31% 31%
  • 34% of indebted Canadians used their credit cards for financial support. 34% 34%
  • 63% of Canadians with debt say they are concerned or worried about theirlevel of debt. 63% 63%

Personal Finances During COVID-19

Canadians show high levels of concern and understanding when friends or family are struggling with their finances, but tend to be more worried about what others will think if they needed to reach out.

Many Canadians feel there is a stigma around reaching out for financial assistance, being more likely to feel embarrassed or out of options than responsible or proactive.

Credit Counselling Couple
  • 44% of Canadians feel embarrassed about reaching out for financial help. 44% 44%
  • 21% think reaching out for financial help is responsible. 21% 21%
  • 61% of Canadians would be glad to help a friend or family member with their finances. 61% 61%
  • 45% would be worried when asking for financial help, that a friend or family member would lose respect for them. 45% 45%
Credit Counselling Society 2019 annual report.

Find Your Path Forward

As you review these findings, remember that it’s never too early to start dealing with your debts. No matter your level of debt, there are resources and experts available at the Credit Counselling Society who can help you chart a path forward.

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