The key here is serviceability: your ability to service the debt you have.

Our ability to service our debt is a combination of the amount of debt we have (which is high), the interest rates we are paying (which are low today on most forms of debt), and our income (which for many Canadians has decreased during the recession). As the chart shows, our household debt as a percentage of our personal disposable income continues to rise.

In fact, by the end of the end of September 2009 (the most recent numbers available), the average Canadian adult was carrying household debt of 140.8% of their personal disposable income. That’s the highest level in history. Three years ago that level was “only” 120%. Stated another way, for every dollar you earn, you have $1.41 in debt, if you are the average Canadian. Obviously during this recession our debt has increased much faster than our income, and Canadians are spending more of each dollar they earn servicing their debts.


Household Debt: Canada

we make time for you