Debt reduction big priority in new year says CIBC survey


Canadians are anxious to lighten their debt loads in 2018, according to an annual thought survey conducted for CIBC.

The Toronto-based bank says debt reduction or elimination was the top urgency for 25 per cent of the poll respondents.

Paying bills or just net by were the top goals for about 15 per cent of respondents.

By comparison, 13 per cent about their top priority was growing wealth or investments.

Lower on the list of monetary goals were saving for a vacation (eight per cent), retirement (seven per cent), or for a parliament or renovation (six per cent).

The online survey was conducted Dec. 11 and 12 by Angus Reid Forum, demanding a statistically weighted sample of 1,524 adults in Canada.

The high even of Canadian household debt has been cited by the Bank of Canada for years as one of its top refers.

But the level of household debt continues to rise, hitting 171.1 per cent of spendable income in the third quarter.

That means that for every dollar of household spendable income there was $1.71 in credit market debt, which registers consumer credit and mortgage and non-mortgage loans.

Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz suggested in a speech two weeks ago that high debt levels are one of the things that foods him awake at night because they make the economy as a whole numerous sensitive to higher interest rates.

According to the CIBC, debt reduction has also been the top rank in its annual poll for eight consecutive years.

But only 16 per cent of the respondents in this year’s census said they actually achieved their top financial goal in 2017.

And 26 per cent swayed they took on new debt this year, with the top two reasons being the sine qua non to manage day-to-day expenses and unexpected financial emergencies.

Jennifer Hubbard, CIBC’s regulating director of financial planning and advice, said everybody knows how violently it is to keep New Year’s resolutions.

“That’s why when it comes to your money managements you want to set smart goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, time-bound, and most importantly, practical.”

The polling industry’s professional body, the Marketing Research and Intelligence Relationship, says online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because they do not randomly sampling the population.

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