A new report concludes that Canadians are among the most indebted people living in advanced countries.
The report by the Certified General Accountants Association of Canada finds that household debt reached $1.41 trillion in December 2009.
That's $41,740 on average per Canadian and is worst among 20 advanced countries in the OECD.
The accountants note that Canadians kept adding on debt during the recession when interest rates were at record lows.
Now, with higher rates expected, they warn that those households would need to tighten their belts if mortgage rates rise even by just two percentage points.
The report says mid-income and even higher-income households would have to cut their budgets on other expenses by between nine and 11 per cent to maintain the same levels of spending on shelter, food and transportation.