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Anxiety over debt, bankruptcy on the rise: survey

Last Updated Jan 21, 2020 at 8:08 am MST

Credit cards are seen in Philadelphia on June 10, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Matt Rourke

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – Optimism doesn’t seem to be the strong suit for Albertans when it comes to their financial futures.

According to the latest survey from MNP, many Albertans say they feel worse-off this year than last with fears of bankruptcy growing.

The survey took in 2,000 responses and found Albertans are most likely to say their debt situation is worse than it was five years ago.

“The biggest mistake people make is allowing their debt problems to snowball. When someone comes to the startling realization that, regardless of time or interest rates, they are unable to pay back what is owed it is very devastating for them,” said Donna Carson with MNP.

The survey also found 28 per cent of Albertans polled are already bankrupt and about 47 per cent are $200 or less from not meeting their financial obligations at the end of the month.

FULL SURVEY

There is some good news from the survey as 36 per cent said they’re confident they can cope with a life-changing event such as a serious illness, the loss of employment or change in wage or seasonal work without increasing their debt.

Those numbers have slightly risen since September.

“Besides paying off creditors, changing your mindset and behaviours is key to breaking the debt cycle. That can include saving for rainy-day expenses, to ensure you don’t fall back into financial trouble in the future,” said Carson.

Nationally, the poll shows 50 per cent of those surveyed aren’t confident they will be able to pay for their living expenses without going into further debt.