MNP Consumer Debt Index Rebounds Significantly (Up 8 Points) as Interest Rate Concerns Ease and Debt Perceptions Improve, Yet Repayment Anxiety Persists for Majority

  • Six in ten are concerned about their ability to repay their debts (58%, -5pts).
  • Nearly half (45%) report being $200 or less away from failing to meet all their financial obligations, including three in ten (31%, +4pts) who are technically insolvent.
  • Half of Canadians feeling the ‘Social Squeeze’ as financial pressure of social obligations means many ‘simply can’t afford to participate’ (49%).
  • One-third of Canadians say they still haven’t recovered financially from the pandemic four years later (32%).

CALGARY, Alberta, April 08, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The MNP Consumer Debt Index, conducted quarterly by Ipsos, has rebounded significantly to 91 points, an eight-point jump since last quarter after a full year of low scores. More Canadians perceive their current debt situation to be better compared to one year ago (27%, +5pts) and significantly fewer rated their current debt situation as much worse compared to a year ago (16%, -6pts). With the prospect of interest rate cuts on the horizon, fewer Canadian households are concerned about their current level of debt (41%, -6pts) and less regret the amount of debt they’ve taken on in life (44%, -3pts). A quarter say they are much better equipped to absorb an interest rate increase of one percentage point (25%, +3pts) or an extra $130 in interest payments (24%, +5pts).

“Things are not as bad as they were: that’s the main theme of the latest report,” says Grant Bazian, president of MNP LTD, the country’s largest insolvency firm. “After recording record lows over the last year, current debt perceptions have rebounded. Canadians are more confident about their current debt situation, expected debt situation, and ability to absorb interest rate increases. However, with looming mortgage renewals, enduring pandemic-related financial setbacks and intensifying cost-of-living pressures, Canadian households are still feeling the squeeze.”

While fewer this quarter are concerned about their ability to repay their debts (58%, -5pts), repayment anxiety persists for the majority of Canadians. Consistent with last quarter, nearly half (45%, unchanged) of Canadians report being $200 or less away from failing to meet all their financial obligations including three in ten (31%, +4pts) who are technically insolvent and say they already can't cover their bills and debt payments each month. Additionally, more than half (54%, -3pts) say if interest rates go up much more, they will be in financial trouble.

“Navigating the brink of insolvency or grappling with an overwhelming debt burden is more widespread than many people think. The key message here is that you're not facing these challenges alone,” says Bazian. “There is help available and seeking professional debt help sooner rather than later can prevent further escalation and pave a way out of debt.”

Bazian says that the shame and guilt associated with unmanageable debt often cause people to delay getting professional assistance, putting them at risk of aggressive collections activity and debt-relief scams, resulting in stress and isolation.

“There's nothing uplifting about debt; it's tiresome, draining, and lonely. Compounding debt hardship is the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, marked by substantial increases in monthly expenses and food prices, and the enduring financial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” explains Bazian.

Feeling the financial pressure of social obligations, many ‘simply can’t afford to participate’

Half of Canadians (49%) indicate they are feeling the 'social squeeze' on their personal finances, worried about the amount of money they’ll have to expend for lifestyle and social obligations. Those with poor personal debt ratings are significantly more concerned with the 'social squeeze' (75%), given their already precarious financial position. Those aged 18-34 (59%) and 35-54 (58%) are most concerned.

“Overwhelmed and discouraged by how expensive it is to attend or participate in social events – be it birthdays, weddings, graduations or family celebrations– some may be sinking further into hardship because they simply can’t afford to participate,” explains Bazian.

Four years post-pandemic, a third of Canadians say they still haven’t recovered financially

The latest MNP Consumer Debt Index aligns with the four-year mark since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. While one-third of Canadians say they have recovered financially (33%), an equal proportion claim to be in a worse financial state compared to pre-pandemic times (32%). Those reporting worsened financial conditions are predominantly aged 35-54 and have lower incomes.

“Some Canadians are still in a holding pattern when it comes to their unmanageable debt. The bottom line is that things will never improve if you don't take action. Seeking professional advice from a Licensed Insolvency Trustee is the best first step for reputable advice to develop a plan to deal with debt. Everyone’s situation is different, which is why it is so important to get customized, unbiased advice.”

MNP’s national team of Licensed Insolvency Trustees offers free consultations across the country. As the only government-regulated debt professionals, Licensed Insolvency Trustees are empowered to offer guidance on all of the debt-relief options available, including consumer proposals, bankruptcies, and informal debt settlements.


MNP LTD, a division of the national accounting firm MNP LLP, is the largest insolvency practice in Canada. For more than 50 years, our experienced team of Licensed Insolvency Trustees and advisors have been working with individuals to help them recover from times of financial distress and regain control of their finances. With more than 240 Canadian offices from coast-to-coast, MNP helps thousands of Canadians each year who are struggling with an overwhelming amount of debt. Visit to contact a Licensed Insolvency Trustee or use our free Do it Yourself (DIY) debt assessment tools. For regular, bite-sized insights about debt and personal finances, subscribe to the MNP 3 Minute Debt Break Podcast.

About the MNP Consumer Debt Index

The MNP Consumer Debt Index measures Canadians’ attitudes toward their consumer debt and gauges their ability to pay their bills, endure unexpected expenses, and absorb interest-rate fluctuations without approaching insolvency. Conducted by Ipsos and updated quarterly, the Index is an industry-leading barometer of financial pressure or relief among Canadians.

Now in its 28th wave, the Index increased to 91 points, up eight points since last quarter. Visit to learn more.

The data was compiled by Ipsos on behalf of MNP LTD between March 8 - March 15, 2024. For this survey, a sample of 2,000 Canadians aged 18 years and over was interviewed. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ±2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadian adults been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

Provincial data is available upon request.


Angela Joyce, Media Relations

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A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

8057-24-CORP MNP Consumer Debt Index - April 2024 - Infographic