Canadian household debt reaches $1.3 trillion and continues to escalate: report

Staff ~ The Telegram
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A new report by the Certified General Accountants Association of Canada (CGA-Canada) reveals that household debt reached an all-time high of $1.3 trillion in 2008, yet Canadians perceive their financial condition to be better than it is.
According to the report, Canadian families are financing consumption activity with unearned money as they increasingly reach for credit to finance day-to-day living expenses.
The report, "Where Has the Money Gone: The State of Canadian Household Debt in a Stumbling Economy", is based on a consumer survey conducted last November.
The survey asked Canadians to reflect on the changes that had occurred in their household finances over the past three years, with a focus on household debt, income, assets, wealth, spending and savings.
"Household debt has increased significantly over recent years, jeopardizing the financial security of Canadian households," says Anthony Ariganello, president and CEO of CGA-Canada.
"Many Canadians are not aware of how the economic downturn has impacted their financial situation and continue to load up their credit cards and lines of credit, while committing few, or in some cases, no resources to savings."
In particular, 49 per cent of Canadian families with one or more children under the age of 18 reported that their debt had increased.
Lines of credit and credit cards account for the largest proportion of consumer debt, with 85 per cent of Canadians reporting that they have outstanding debt on a credit card.
Some 21 per cent of Canadians who are in debt say that they are in over their heads and can no longer manage their debt load.

Organizations: CGA-Canada, Certified General Accountants Association of Canada

Geographic location: Canadian Household Debt

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Recent comments

  • W
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    ...........and I thought I was bad at managing money since my co-workers & friends in my salary bracket were better money people, cuz they had 4X4 Pick ups and 52 inch LCD's with HD. Visa owns their TV's & SUV's, my 27 CRT & Toyota Echo are bought & paid for :)

  • Paul
    July 02, 2010 - 13:27

    Well no surprise. One thing we can never get a break from is taxes as we have to pay heavier burdens for politicians and the gov't employees who are all doing pretty good in my opinion.

    Also young people have grown up with the mentality to have everything now, don't work for it, just use credit and never save for a rainy day or retirement. Then when jobs disappear or inflation (next to come) rises they are unprepared for it.

  • Kris
    July 02, 2010 - 13:17

    This shouldn't be a suprise to anyone. In an era when your worth as a human being is determined by your buying power, where you can't even rent a movie with out a credit card, where we buy things for our children instead of spending time with them becasue we are so busy working in order to earn the money needed to consume more and more, i stotally acceptable parenting.

    We don't exist unles we are on somebody's books as owning them money. Credit cards, banks, student loans. Credit is like donated blood, you dont' need it, at least right now, but if you need it and don't have it, you're pretty much out of luck. And loyalty programs that encourage you to use credit, money you don't have instead of putting off a purchase until you can afford it, for thesake of some magic beans or airline travel points or some such silliness. If you spen enough money you will get a trip, on which you can use the credit card of your choice some more.

    Is it any wonder why we are saddled with debt? really? When an individuals social status is determined by the size of their television, when advertisers prepare a demand for a product before the need for a product exists, then fills the void with an a product that is prices based on the hype surrounding it, before it even hits the market. Supply an demand is a thing of the past. Now it seems all we have is a demand for supply. Someone has the money someone has to create somethign to sell them. Children have disposable income, and there are spas for dogs, what is wrong here, we've really let ourselves get carried away.

  • W
    July 01, 2010 - 20:17

    ...........and I thought I was bad at managing money since my co-workers & friends in my salary bracket were better money people, cuz they had 4X4 Pick ups and 52 inch LCD's with HD. Visa owns their TV's & SUV's, my 27 CRT & Toyota Echo are bought & paid for :)

  • Paul
    July 01, 2010 - 20:15

    Well no surprise. One thing we can never get a break from is taxes as we have to pay heavier burdens for politicians and the gov't employees who are all doing pretty good in my opinion.

    Also young people have grown up with the mentality to have everything now, don't work for it, just use credit and never save for a rainy day or retirement. Then when jobs disappear or inflation (next to come) rises they are unprepared for it.

  • Kris
    July 01, 2010 - 19:58

    This shouldn't be a suprise to anyone. In an era when your worth as a human being is determined by your buying power, where you can't even rent a movie with out a credit card, where we buy things for our children instead of spending time with them becasue we are so busy working in order to earn the money needed to consume more and more, i stotally acceptable parenting.

    We don't exist unles we are on somebody's books as owning them money. Credit cards, banks, student loans. Credit is like donated blood, you dont' need it, at least right now, but if you need it and don't have it, you're pretty much out of luck. And loyalty programs that encourage you to use credit, money you don't have instead of putting off a purchase until you can afford it, for thesake of some magic beans or airline travel points or some such silliness. If you spen enough money you will get a trip, on which you can use the credit card of your choice some more.

    Is it any wonder why we are saddled with debt? really? When an individuals social status is determined by the size of their television, when advertisers prepare a demand for a product before the need for a product exists, then fills the void with an a product that is prices based on the hype surrounding it, before it even hits the market. Supply an demand is a thing of the past. Now it seems all we have is a demand for supply. Someone has the money someone has to create somethign to sell them. Children have disposable income, and there are spas for dogs, what is wrong here, we've really let ourselves get carried away.