Credit card
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With household debt on the rise, many Canadians are convinced they will be in the red for life.

A recent Ipsos poll conducted for Manulife Bank of Canada found that 45% of Canadians report spending more than they earn, and 40% doubt they will ever be debt free. While almost half of Canadians fear being indebted for life, 67% assume everybody is in the same situation.

Further, the percentage of Canadians who are unable to save any of their after-tax income has increased (19% compared with 15% in Q1 2019), as well as the percentage of non-mortgage related debts (54% compared with 46%).

Additional non-mortgage related debt is driven by credit card debt, according to a release from the New Westminster, B.C-based Credit Counselling Society. Canadians now average a debt load of $30,000 in unsecured, non-mortgage debts, up from $12,000 20 years ago.

“With so many Canadians relying on credit cards and other means of lending, the stress of being in debt has simply become a normal part of life,” said Scott Hannah, president of the Credit Counselling Society. “Carrying overwhelming amounts of debt and having limited means to pay them down, it’s understandable that many consider it an impossible situation to resolve.”

The overwhelming majority of Canadians (94%) agree that the average household carries too much debt, with 84% saying that paying it off is their top priority.