By Derek Abma, Postmedia News May 25, 2011
An Investors Group survey released Wednesday shows that 75 per cent of respondents describe themselves as being in debt. Most of them, however, also say their debt will do them good in the future.
Photograph by: Ed Kaiser, Edmonton Journal
OTTAWA — Most Canadians are in debt, but most of us feel that debt will leave us better off down the road, a new poll suggests.
An Investors Group survey released Wednesday shows that 75 per cent of respondents describe themselves as being in debt. Most of them, however, also said their debt will do them good in the future.
Going into debt to purchase a property was the most common reason for borrowing, cited by 54 per cent of those who said they had debt.
Other common reasons were home renovations (37 per cent), attaining cash for a financial investment (28 per cent) and paying for education or training (18 per cent).
“The reality is that almost everyone has consumer debt,” said Jack Courtney, assistant vice-president of advanced financial planning for Investors Group.
“But accumulating debt with purpose and putting thought into how debt will be repaid is very different than spending beyond one’s means and without foresight.”
The survey had 73 per cent of respondents with debt saying they have “some idea” of how they will pay it off.
That doesn’t mean everyone is completely OK with their debt. The survey had 58 per cent of respondents who owe money saying they feel uncomfortable with it, 33 per cent have lost sleep over it, 30 per cent are embarrassed by their debt and 25 per cent said it has triggered disagreements with their partners.
The data were based on surveys of 1,020 Canadians via an online panel between April 27 and May 8. Investors Groups said a margin of error was not applicable to this method of polling, which used weighting to ensure the sample was demographically representative of the Canadian population.
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