Number of British Columbians Who are $200 Away from Being Unable to Pay Their Bills Spikes

Number of British Columbians Who are $200 Away from Being Unable to Pay Their Bills SpikesThe financial landscape in British Columbia is experiencing a significant shift as a growing number of residents are finding themselves on the brink of financial instability. According to the recent MNP Consumer Debt Index, more than half of British Columbians are now $200 or less away from being unable to fulfill their financial responsibilities at the end of the month. This is an alarming increase of eight points from the previous quarter, marking the most substantial surge among the provinces.

Understanding the Problem

Inflation and rising interest rates are two leading factors that have been hitting British Columbians hard and pushing them closer to financial insolvency. Approximately one-third of the province’s residents are unable to cover their bills and debt payments, which technically renders them insolvent.

The pressure of mounting household expenses, coupled with the rise in food prices, has intensified the financial anxiety among the residents. This stress is further exacerbated by the increasing debt-servicing costs, particularly for those who are deeply in debt.

The Impact of High Borrowing Costs

High borrowing costs continue to wreak havoc, causing more and more British Columbians to feel pessimistic about their debt. The data reflects a six-point increase in those regretting their debt level. The same percentage of people are also concerned about their current debt situation.

As the cost of living skyrockets, households are grappling with a variety of financial pressures, leaving little room for flexibility within their budgets. Consequently, the risk of falling behind on payments escalates, leading to potential delinquency on credit card bills. Late fees and interest then accumulate rapidly, making it even more challenging to catch up on payments.

The Effects of Interest Rate Increases

Compared to the previous quarter, a larger fraction of British Columbians are feeling the impact of interest rate hikes. Approximately 68% of the population is more concerned about their ability to pay off their debts as interest rates continue to rise. Nearly three in five people say they will be in financial trouble if interest rates increase further.

The Response of British Columbians

In response to the economic strain, a majority of British Columbians (86%) are choosing to be more cautious with how they spend their money. However, despite some residents attempting to spend more frugally, the average person in British Columbia has reported a $206 increase in their weekly expenditure on essential items compared to the previous year.

Inflation and Increased Spending

Inflation is likely the culprit behind the surge in essential spending. A staggering 70% of British Columbians feel their weekly expenditure on essentials has increased by at least $100. Additionally, a quarter of the population believes it has increased by between $100 and $200.

Despite attempts to cut back on non-essential expenses and spend more judiciously, many households have exhausted all possibilities of cost-cutting. They have already switched to cheaper grocery items and reduced their entertainment costs.

Prioritizing Bills

Despite these measures, British Columbians are still struggling to afford the essentials, like food and housing payments. This predicament leaves many individuals with the challenging decision of determining which bills to prioritize and which ones they may have to delay or neglect.

Seeking Professional Help

For those anticipating missing payments, it is recommended to contact lenders to set up a payment plan that aligns with their financial capabilities. Falling behind on payments and failing to communicate with lenders is a clear sign that borrowers need help.

Licensed Insolvency Trustees

Licensed Insolvency Trustees (LITs) are federally regulated debt professionals who can assist with all debt relief options. They can provide professional help by conducting a confidential review of an individual’s financial situation and offer unbiased advice on a variety of debt relief measures.


The rising number of British Columbians who are $200 away from not being able to pay their bills is a concerning trend that reflects the current economic challenges in the province. As inflation and interest rates continue to rise, it’s more important than ever for individuals to seek professional help and explore potential debt relief options.

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