Canadians stressing out about finances: report

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Canadians don’t need the federal government to provide a stress test for borrowers – many are creating their own financial stress and Vancouverites are leading the nation.

The percentage of Canadians stressing out over their finances is reaching a critical high, according to a new survey from Capital One Canada and Credit Canada Debt Solutions.

A full 30 per cent of those surveyed cited financial stress as a larger worry than their overall health, with 44 per cent saying it’s impacting their mental health.

According to TransUnion, Vancouver residents have the highest consumer debt among major Canadian cities. In Vancouver the average individual owes $38,753 in non-mortgage debt, TransUnion found in a first-quarter survey this year.

“These results demonstrate that most Canadians worry about their finances every day for about an hour, which is equivalent to the amount of time we spend eating,” said Laurie Campbell, Credit Canada’s CEO.

Some additional findings: 56 per cent of Canadians say they are willing to make drastic sacrifices to become debt-free; and 60 per cent they are taking steps to reduce their financial stress.

However, major banks are also adding to the stress level, with most big banks now opting for a stress test on home equity lines of credit to curb a growing appetite for such borrowing.