Canadian Debt Levels Would Crush Them If They Were $200 Higher Per Month: Survey

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It would only take another $200 in debt for many Canadians to collapse under their monthly payments, according to a new survey.

Consumer insolvency firm MNP Ltd. spoke with 1,502 Canadians earlier this month for its latest study.

Fifty-six per cent of respondents said they're only a couple hundred dollars from a debt crisis.

canadian money
Canadian $100 bills. (Photo: Stuart Dee/Getty Images)

Another 52 per cent said they're worried about their current debt levels — a response up nine points from February, said a Wednesday news release.

Half of surveyed Canadians said they regretted owing so much money, and 38 per cent said raising interest rates could "move them towards bankruptcy."

"It's actually positive to see that a growing number of Canadians are concerned," Grant Bazian, MNP's president, said in a statement.

"Many households have come to rely on cheap credit in order to cover expenses but we can't continue to be comfortable taking on more credit to finance a lifestyle we can't afford."

"It's actually positive to see that a growing number of Canadians are concerned."

As many as 31 per cent of respondents said they already don't make enough money to pay the bills, "technically making them financially insolvent," the survey said.

Nevertheless, MNP found evidence of overspending.

Forty per cent of parents said they'd blown their back-to-school budgets, while a third of Canadians agreed that they spent more than they should have on summer vacations.

canadian currency
Canadian money is shown in this stock photo. (Photo: Getty Images)

Generation X'ers were most concerned about debt (60 per cent), followed by millennials (52 per cent), and Baby Boomers (43 per cent).

Debt concerns grew most among Albertans, jumping 18 per cent from the last survey. Saskatchewan and Manitoba came second, with debt worries growing by 17 points.

credit cards
Credit cards are shown in this stock photo. (Photo: Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

The survey came amid reports that Canadian household debt levels are bigger than the whole economy now, on a nominal basis.

The Canadian household debt-to-disposable income ratio sat at 167.6 per cent in the second quarter, up from 165.2 per cent in the first.

But MNP's findings also came during a period of sluggish wage growth.

Statistics Canada said wages for non-farm payroll employees only grew by $954 in February — only 0.4 per cent more than a year before.

Here is an infographic showing MNP's findings:

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