Canadians in debt caught with pants down, seek loans from family, friends, banks – shy away from spouses

As interest rates begin to rise, Bromwich+Smith survey cuts deep

TORONTO, March 03, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- As the country grapples with economic recovery two years into the pandemic, a financial priorities study of 1,519 Canadians, shows people are more likely to address financial difficulties by taking out a loan from family, friends, or a bank, or selling investments or assets – than they are to focus on tackling their debt once and for all.

The survey is being released on the same week that The Bank of Canada raised its key interest rate for the first time in four years. The first leg of the survey in January found that half of the country was more stressed to start 2022 than during 2020 lockdowns and 84 per cent worried about inflation and cost-of-living.

Part II of Bromwich+Smith’s Perfect Storm survey asked, “what actions would (you) take in order to find relief from financial difficulty?” 39 per cent of respondents said they would take out a loan/new line of credit from a bank or other financial institution. This was followed by selling investments/financial assets (33%) and borrowing from family or friend (27%).

Much further down the list include selling my home (16%), borrowing from my partner/spouse (12%), consulting with a debt professional such as a Licensed Insolvency Trustee (11%).

“The results of the survey paint a picture of people’s financial fears and priorities,” said Laurie Campbell, director of client financial wellness at Bromwich + Smith. “When it comes to addressing financial challenges – you can raise the bridge or lower the water. Faced with this conundrum it seems Canadians dealing with debt
are focused on changing the address of their creditor rather than reducing their debt. This is not always the best option.”

What actions would you take to find relief from financial difficulty this year?Total



Taking out a loan/new line of credit from a bank or other financial institution


Selling investments/financial assets


Borrowing from family or friend


Downsizing my living situation (e.g., moving to a cheaper rental unit, moving in with roommates/family, etc.)


Selling my home


Borrowing from my partner/spouse


Consulting with a debt professional (such as a Licensed Insolvency Trustee)


Seeking advice about a bankruptcy or consumer proposal


Declare bankruptcy or filing a consumer proposal


Canadians were also asked to rank their top financial priorities for 2022. Here were the responses:

  • 55 per cent said having a sufficient emergency fund
  • 46 per cent said paying down debt
  • 37 per cent said saving for retirement
  • 27 per cent said saving for travel/vacation
  • 19 per cent said saving to renovate their home
  • 15 per cent said changing jobs/finding a job
  • 15 per cent said saving up to buy a home
  • 13 per cent said improving their credit score
  • 12 per cent said saving for their child(ren)’s education
  • 7 per cent said having enough insurance to cover their family

Survey shows cognitive dissonance between priorities and actions
“Actions always speak the loudest. There is a disconnect between people’s priority to pay down debt and the actions they are willing to take to actually address the debt,” said Campbell. “For people struggling financially, a caring professional at Bromwich+Smith is available to help answer questions, prioritize a plan of action to help conquer your debt and rebuild your worth.”

A Licensed Insolvency Trustee (such as the ones at Bromwich+Smith) are the only professionals authorized to govern consumer proposals and bankruptcies. LITs will put a stop to all collections activity as soon as a person enters into an agreement and can reduce the debt owing to a fraction of the original amount.

About the Perfect Storm Part II Survey by Bromwich+Smith
From January 5 to January 6, 2022, an online survey was conducted among a representative sample of 1,519 Canadians who are members of the Angus Reid Forum. For comparison purposes, the sample plan would carry a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding. 

About Bromwich+Smith
At Bromwich+Smith, our dedicated team of Licensed Insolvency Trustees and Debt Relief Specialists are committed to rebuilding our clients’ worth, while helping relieve the overwhelming financial and emotional burden they are experiencing. Beyond our clients’ financial wellbeing, Bromwich+Smith strives to restore the personal wellbeing and self-confidence of every client. Whether it’s through a consumer proposal, bankruptcy, counselling or budgeting, our clients trust us to work with them to find customized solutions to make them whole again. With offices in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and New Brunswick, Bromwich+Smith helps thousands of Canadians rebuild their worth every year.

Bromwich+Smith's Debt Relief Specialists are available for a free, confidential, no-obligation initial consultation by phone at 1-855-884-9243 or via

To arrange an interview with Laurie Campbell at Browmich+Smith please contact:

Parveen Singh
M 437–247-5230

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at