Poll Results – Household Debt

Time again to learn about you, the readers :D Last year I ran a poll asking about people’s household debt levels. Thanks to everyone who voted (^_^) Results below.


Wow, about a third of readers are debt free 🙂 Congrats!

About 1 in 20 owe a million dollars or more 😕 That’s probably not hard to believe since a typical two story house in Vancouver can cost over $1 million 😉

Canadian individuals in total have about $1.36 trillion of debt, and this number has been consistently rising due to sustained low interest rates. This means that on average each man, woman, and child, owes about $39K each if split evenly. So good job if you have less debt than this 🙂

I’m in the $500,000 to $1,000,000 debt group which is good because why be “average”  when we can be extraordinary? 😀 I think people go into debt in order to solve a problem, or make life better. And almost always taking on debt will lead to a positive outcome, enhancing our livelihoods 😀 I’m not even talking about investments. The 3 largest forms of debt (most of the $1.36 trillion) are mortgages, student loans, and car loans.

Who has mortgages? Home owners! 🙂 and studies show that on average people who own their homes over time have a higher net worth than renters. Who has student loan debt? People with higher education! and studies show an investment in human capital is one of the best ways to open up doors to new opportunities 🙂 Who has car loans? Drivers! And anecdotally I can say that switching from public transit to driving my own car for commuting to work and grocery shopping is one of the best lifestyle decisions I’ve ever made 🙂 Maybe debt is just a necessary evil that we need in order to make society a better place 😉

Random Useless Fact: The colours of the Canadian bank notes resemble the international LGBT pride flag (rainbow flag.)



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03/28/2014 9:06 am

I am in the $500,000 to $1,000,000 debt group too. Student loan is my main debt, but I am not worry about it because the interest we pay is tax deductible. When I calculate the actual student loan interest rate it is fairly less than when I receive from dividend income. So, I am just paying the minimum and let the inflation pay the rest :D.

Happy investing.

03/28/2014 9:42 am

If I include my mortgage I am in the 100 – 250k range. If I don’t, then I am *just* above the 10-25,000 range. I’m not too concerned. It’s all going to be gone next year – well, minus the mortgage… but I’m just plugging away at that right now. It’s an investment (actually. it’s an income property).

03/28/2014 11:28 am

Whoa, lotsa debt free viewers on your site! Sophisticated! I used to be that too… till I got my rental property. Now I’m in the 100-250k range… feels a little daunting. I’ve never really been in debt before….but all in all, I’m building up my equity 😀

03/28/2014 1:45 pm

I wonder how levels of debt related to net worth and savings. I have a mortgage for just under $200K, but substantial savings and a positive net worth.

Min Min
Min Min
03/29/2014 4:24 am

I suppose I’ve been lucky. My parents paid for my university with IBM blue chip stocks that they started when my sister and I were still in primary school.

Having bought my first car last year, this is my first time in my life with (good) debt!

03/30/2014 9:40 am

Wow, I honestly would not have imagined a third of your readers were debt free. But then again this is a personal finance blog so people who are finding you are learning and applying good principles. I wish this statistic were true for the masses.

John R
John R
04/17/2017 7:24 am

wouldn’t it be ‘net assets’ as the prime importance? Suppose $5,000,000 assets with $3,000,000 liabilities = net $2,000,000 Folks that have the $1,000,000 net assets, zero debt with (everything all-in) expenses less than 50% of their income, is that not an ideal situation, or getting it down to 1% in expenses to income would be the ultimate target goal? What are folks striving for? Does it matter if net worth is $1,000,000 or more, even less, or that your have zero debt and are still working? We are old school seniors, retired, net assets of $1.2 million, completely debt free, we pay cash for everything, no credit or debt cards uses (we have one credit card for emergencies or booking holidays), large purchases are paid by cheque, we draw cash out of the bank on a monthly basis to cover what we need for the month. We do not do on-line banking or pre authorization payments. All bills come in the mail that we pay at the bank. Our mth over mth/year over year expenses to income is less than 30%, we strive year after year to pay zero income tax or little as possible. We make sure that the… Read more »