Fourteen percent of Canadians think they will never be debt-free, a recent survey found.
Data from the CIBC poll conducted by Harris/Decima also showed that this percentage generally goes up with age, with 21 percent of those 65 years and older saying that they will never be free of debt. Only 3 percent of those between 18 and 24 said they’ll never pay off all their debts.
The survey also found that another 10 percent of Canadians don’t know when they’ll be able to completely pay off their debt.
“While past research has shown many Canadians are making progress on reducing debt, there is a smaller group that feels they won’t be able to achieve debt freedom in the long run,” Christina Kramer, an executive vice president with the CIBC, said in a statement.
“Carrying debt over the long term without a plan to pay it off means you are taking a risk with your long-term financial goals, including retirement,” Kramer added.
The most common reasons given for carrying long-term debt were being “too far in debt” to be able to pay it off (26 percent), the high cost of living (16 percent), and having a “comfortable level of debt” (12 percent).
“Choosing to carry debt over the long term may carry risks because your financial circumstances tomorrow might make it harder to manage the debt level you have today,” Kramer said.
“That’s why it makes sense to make progress on debt repayment, even if you are comfortable with the debt you hold today.”
The Atlantic provinces and British Columbia had the highest percentage of respondents saying they will never be debt-free (18 percent in both), and Alberta had the lowest percentage of respondents giving the same response (9 percent).
The poll was conducted with 2,002 Canadians between March 28 and April 7.