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What are you stressing about? If it's about money, then you are not alone.
For Canadians, from British Columbia to Nova Scotia, money is the biggest source of stress, says a new poll. With historically low-interest rates, a rising cost of living, shrinking paychecks and a weak economy, numerous households are struggling to stay afloat, and this is keeping families awake at nights and worried.
According to a new Leger online survey, conducted for Quickcheck Canada, 66 percent of Canadians cite money as the largest source of stress; and nearly half (44 percent) concede it's their biggest worry.
The numbers surge when you include respondents who had recently taken out a so called cheap payday advances online to make ends meet. The survey found that 83 percent of those who have borrowed money from a payday lender say money is a major source of stress. Also, 61 percent of borrowers note that money is their biggest worry.
Moreover, the same poll discovered that 14 percent of Canadians have taken out a payday loan. And many Canadian consumers have taken out multiple payday loans from multiple lenders to hold their heads above water.
Sedef Karansu, the CEO of Quickcheck Canada, a software solutions provider to the payday loan industry, is blaming the conventional financial industry for allowing this to happen.
"Many low-income Canadians aren't able to borrow money from traditional banks and have to use payday loans to get by. Unfortunately, some of them take out multiple loans from different lenders, and that gets them into financial trouble," said Karansu.
One consumer debt expert, Mark Silver throws, is placing the blame on the lack of enforcement of laws.
“Unfortunately, the current government legislation that prevents people from taking out concurrent loans is rarely enforced and there is no mechanism for money lenders to know if their customers are doing so," said Thornton.
Across the country, jurisdictions at both the municipal and provincial level have taken action to rein in the payday loan industry. The likes of British Columbia and Alberta have installed changes to interest rates and a number of fees charged on payday loans. At the municipal level, in cities like Hamilton, governments are working to restrict payday loan stores from opening up in certain parts, particularly those areas that have a large population of those most vulnerable to short-term, high-interest loans.
Payday loan critics regularly aver that these alternative financial products send the poor and middle-class households into perpetual debt cycles that are nearly impossible to get out of. On the other hand, payday loan proponents say that these services are available because they do not have access to traditional forms of banking and credit.
In the Great White North, the average debt load per household is near $22,000, which excludes mortgages. As of May 2016, Canadians now owe $1.65 for every dollar of disposable income they have.
The online survey of 1,536 adult Canadians was conducted between September 12 and 15. The poll maintains a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percentage points.