A new survey conducted by Ipsos for personal insolvency practice MNP has revealed the lengths Canadians would go to so they could get rid of their debt.
Among a sample population of around 2,000 Canadians, 45% said they would eat at home instead of having dinner out for a year if it meant being debt-free. Nearly the same percentage of people said they would pull 10 hours of overtime per week for a year (27%) or forgo vacation for three years (26%).
Only 24% of Canadians said they would cut up their credit cards, and just 18% said they would seek professional help from a licensed insolvency trustee. Other extreme answers included giving up the right to vote for the next eight years (21%), giving up their mobile phone for a year (16%), taking one year off their life expectancy (10%), and selling an organ (5%).
“Many see licensed insolvency trustees as a very last resort and, as a result, they wait until they are up against foreclosure, repossession, or garnishment before taking action,” said David Gowling, a licensed insolvency trustee with MNP. “The reality is that we help people make informed choices to deal with their debt and we can provide a full range of options, not just bankruptcy.”
The survey also revealed regional differences in preferences. Compared to the general population, Albertans were more likely to work overtime (39%), while eating at home was a more popular option among British Columbians (54%) and Prairie residents (53%). Atlantic Canadians were more willing than most to give up coffee (24%) or use of their mobile phone (23%).
Looking at different age groups, millennials were generally most prepared to work overtime (37%), list their debts online (23%), give up voting (28%), and swear off coffee (26%). Generation X Canadians between 35 and 54 years old, meanwhile, were the most open to eating at home (48%) and seeking professional help (20%). Baby boomers were the most likely to say they would not take any of the suggested actions to eliminate their debt (24%), as compared to Gen-Xers (13%) or millennials (8%).
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