Equifax Canada recently conducted a consumer survey that sheds light on the financial worries of Canadians as we approach Financial Literacy Month in November. The survey reveals a range of concerns, including the ability to pay bills on time, manage debt, and protect personal financial data.
Financial Literacy: A Cornerstone of Financial Resilience
One of the standout findings of the survey is that nearly half of the respondents indicated that they have never had any form of financial education. Financial literacy is essential for making informed financial decisions and safeguarding one’s well-being.
The survey also highlighted a generational divide when it comes to seeking financial education. Young adults aged 18-34 are more likely to turn to social media for financial education. While this demonstrates their willingness to learn, it also underlines the urgent need for comprehensive financial literacy programs to reach Canadians of all ages and backgrounds.
Debt and Financial Anxiety
The survey highlights that Canadians, especially young adults, are grappling with anxiety about personal debt. In fact, 52% of respondents aged 18-34 expressed anxiety about their debt, significantly higher than the overall average of 39% among other respondents. This financial stress is driving many young Canadians to consider “odd jobs” or even take on second or third jobs to bolster their income and meet their financial obligations.
Furthermore, the concern about retirement is high among young adults, with 68% expressing unease about their financial future. These findings underscore the importance of early financial planning and education, helping individuals manage their debt and secure their financial future.
Housing Affordability: A Major Concern
Housing affordability is a pressing concern for Canadians, with 86% of respondents believing that the government should do more to address the issue. Many Canadians are worried that their mortgages may be renewed at interest rates higher than they can afford, potentially leading to financial difficulties.
The data also shows that 31% of respondents have had to seek additional income to cope with rising mortgage or rent payments, while 35% express concerns about their job security. Additionally, 19% feel financially precarious and have considered moving due to affordability issues. The survey highlights that 52% of Canadians agree that newcomers have difficulty finding housing because they lack a credit history, emphasizing the need for accessible and affordable housing solutions for all.
Data Protection and Credit Awareness
Data protection is another area of concern for Canadians. Among young adults aged 18 to 34, 32% believe they are unlikely to become victims of identity theft, compared to 19% of all respondents. This highlights a concerning level of complacency, especially considering the growing prevalence of identity theft in the digital age.
On a positive note, young adults are more likely to regularly check their credit reports, with 68% doing so compared to 62% of all respondents. It’s essential to emphasize the importance of staying vigilant about personal data protection and regularly monitoring credit reports, as this is one of the best ways to spot identity theft early.
The Equifax Canada survey offers valuable insights into the financial concerns of Canadians, from the need for improved financial literacy to housing affordability and data protection. It’s clear that financial education is essential for building financial resilience, regardless of one’s age or background. As Financial Literacy Month approaches, it’s an opportune time to reflect on these findings and consider ways to promote financial education and address the pressing issues raised in the survey.
For those who find themselves struggling with debt and financial challenges, seeking professional guidance is highly recommended. A licensed insolvency trustee can provide personalized advice and solutions to help manage your financial situation effectively. In a world where financial well-being is more critical than ever, obtaining the right assistance can make a significant difference in securing your financial future.