1 in 4 B.C. consumers unable to pay bills, debt repayment: poll

Since interest rates first rose in July, poll suggests households across B.C. have had to tighten budget

One in four British Columbians are expecting to fall further into debt this year because of the increasing pressure of rising interest rates, according to a recent poll.

More than 40 per cent of respondents said they are within $200 of not being able to meet their monthly financial obligations, according to results released Wednesday by Ipsos Research.

Meanwhile, people across the province say they are increasingly worried about their ability to repay their debts.

Since interest rates first rose in July, respondants said they have been forced to tighten their budgets as they struggle to keep up with expenses and manage other rising costs, with 25 per cent saying they are unable to cover their monthly bills and repayments alltogether.

On Wednesday, the Bank of Canada increased interest rates by one-quarter point to 1.25 per cent. According to the poll, this mixed with the amount of disposable income declining by 17 per cent since June has left one-in-three respondents concerned with how further increases will impact debt rates.

“This all indicates rising debt costs are ramping up the financial pressure across the province,” the release said.

“Many people took advantage of rock bottom interest rates for everything from houses and cars to everyday purchases while few put money away for emergencies. If things don’t change drastically, thousands of British Columbians could be on the verge of a significant crisis over the coming year ahead.”


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