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From cashing RRSPs to selling cars, one-in-five residents hope to lower their liabilities

While the country faces a national debt of nearly $700 billion, Canadians are feeling their own financial squeeze. Leger Marketing's 2019 Household Debt Survey, which polled 1,515 Canadians, found that one in five would need to sell off assets to repay debt.

The poll, conducted by the Montreal-based research firm for non-profit counselling agencies Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC) and Credit Canada, seeks to uncover Canadians' daily financial concerns.

Although some will be paying down debt, an alarming 62 percent expect to take on more. Those respondents predict that in 2019, they’ll have a new or increased credit card balance, line of credit, vehicle loan/lease or a mortgage.

The survey also found that the debt doesn’t affect all Canadians equally. In fact, 24 percent of males reported a need to liquidate, versus just 14 percent of females. In addition, 23 percent of those with children under 18 foresee having to sell assets to pay down debt, compared to only 16 percent for those without kids. 

With the federal budget due next week and the national debt running at an average of $18,700 per citizen, it’s a good time for all to reassess their finances. In fact, the FPSC and Credit Canada estimate that almost half of Canadians are within $200 of not being able to pay their bills.