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$200 makes for a pretty thin cushion

With rising interest rates making it more expensive to service variable-rate loans and mortgages, Canadians are getting worried.

An Ipsos poll commissioned by MNP, an insolvency firm in Canada, has found that a growing number of Canadians are inching closer to insolvency, with the proportion who are $200 or less from being able to pay their bills rising, reports MNP Debt Blog.

Forty four percent of respondents between the ages of 18 and 34 say their financial cushion is $200 or less, reports Vice. Three in 10 people polled say they don’t earn enough to cover their bills and debt payments while 45 percent say they will need to go further into debt over the next year just to pay for their living and family expenses. Fewer than four in 10 say they’re confident they could cope financially with an unexpected or life-changing event. Regionally, more Canadians across the country, with the exception of Atlantic Canadians, have seen an increase in the proportion of residents who are within $200 or less of financial insolvency. Residents of Saskatchewan and Manitoba, at 56 percent, are within $200 of being financially insolvent, followed by Alberta at 48 percent. Ontarians and Quebecois are both at 46 percent, Atlantic Canada at 45 percent and British Columbians at 41 percent, the MNP Debt Blog reports.

The Ispsos poll also found that fewer Canadians believe in their ability to absorb an interest rate increase of one percentage point or an additional $100 in interest payments. ◊