TORONTO, Sept. 14, 2011 /CNW/ - Ontarians are more comfortable than
anxious about their personal debt levels, with 42 per cent saying they
feel comfortable about their personal debt levels, one third feeling
anxious (33 per cent) and 24 per cent saying they have no personal debt
at all, according to a new RBC Debt Poll. Nationally, 45 per cent are
comfortable and 32 per cent are anxious when it comes to debt.
"Ontarians are fairly comfortable with their debt loads, but they also
understand the value of paying down debt before going ahead with future
plans," said Richard Goyder, vice-president, Personal Lending, RBC.
"That's why it's important to sit down with an expert advisor to assess
your spending and long-term financial plan to ensure that you are
managing debt effectively."
When asked to compare themselves to their peers, the majority of
Ontarians (75 per cent) feel they are in a better position than their
friends and neighbours when it comes to non-mortgage debt, compared
with one-in-four of respondents in the province (25 per cent) who felt
that they were worse off (in line with the national average).
Confidence is high in the province when it comes to overall happiness
related to personal debt, as almost six-in-ten Ontarians feel happy
about their credit situations (58 per cent), compared to 42 per cent
who are not. Both measures exactly match the national average. Paying
down debt is a major focus, as close to half of provincial survey
respondents were focused on paying down debt rather than saving and
investing in the future (48 per cent compared to 49 per cent
nationally), followed closely by those who saw the two activities as
equally important (44 per cent, matching the national average).
Ontarians listed delaying or cancelling vacations (26 per cent compared
to 24 per cent nationally) and not buying expensive items (21 per cent
compared to 20 per cent nationally) as the top two changes to help
reduce their spending habits due to debt worries. Overall in the
province, 61 per cent said that their plans have not changed due to
debt concerns, matching the national average.
Highlights from across Canada:
British Columbia: Half of B.C. survey respondents (50 per cent compared to the national
average of 44 per cent) say saving and investing for the future is as
important as paying down debt, the highest rate in the country. Almost
two-fifths of B.C. residents (37 per cent) feel they are in "much
better" shape, when thinking about their non-mortgage debt, compared to
their friends and neighbours (compared to the national average of 34
Alberta: Alberta leads the country in feeling anxious about debt (36 per cent
versus the national average of 32 per cent). Albertans are also the
most likely to change their plans due to concerns about their debt
situation and are more likely to delay or cancel plans to take vacation
(28 per cent versus 24 per cent) and buy a new home (12 per cent versus
eight per cent).
Prairies: Saskatchewan and Manitoba are the most comfortable and happy with
their personal debt situations when compared to other provinces (50 per
cent and 62 per cent respectively compared to 45 and 58 per cent
nationally). Prairie residents also lead the country on not changing
their plans due to debt concerns, well above the national average (66
per cent versus 61 per cent).
Quebec: Quebecers are most likely to be concerned with paying down debt now
rather than saving for the future (54 per cent versus the national
average of 49 per cent). Over one-quarter of Quebecers (27 per cent)
believe that they are in worse shape than their friends and neighbours
for non-mortgage debt, tied with Alberta for the highest rate in the
country (compared to the national average of 25 per cent).
Atlantic Canada: Thinking about non-mortgage debt, Atlantic Canadians are the most
optimistic about their debt situations compared to their friends and
neighbours (82 per cent versus the national average of 75 per cent).
All Canadians can visit the RBC Advice Centre www.rbcadvicecentre.com for guidance on how to handle their debt. Interactive tools and
calculators provide customized information covering all facets of
saving and using credit. For RBC personal banking clients, a new online
financial management tool, myFinanceTracker, is available at no cost to create a set budget and track their
The RBC Debt Omnibus Study was conducted by Ipsos Reid. Data was
collected from August 18 to 23, 2011. The online survey is based on a
randomly selected representative sample of 2,011 adult Canadians that
was statistically weighted by region, age and gender composition
according to the Census data. The results are considered accurate to
within ±2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would
have been had the entire adult Canadian population been polled. The
margin of error will be larger within regions and for other
sub-groupings of the survey population.
For further information:
Ka Yan Ng, RBC Communications, (416) 974-1794
Matt Gierasimczuk, RBC Communications, (416) 974-2124