TORONTO, Feb. 13, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- With Valentine's Day just around the corner, love is on the mind of many Canadian couples. But it can be hard to think about love when money troubles get in the way. Unfortunately, according to an online survey conducted on behalf of MNP Ltd., one in four (27%) married and common law Canadians say financial stress is affecting their relationship. The same survey reveals that 20% of Canadian couples are facing relationship strains due to their current debt situation.
There are many services available to help Canadians with their debt and credit problems, but a sizeable portion of respondents don't know the difference between these services. In fact, three in ten (28%) married and common law-living Canadians identify that they do not "know the difference between a credit counsellor, debt advisor and Trustee in bankruptcy."
Although almost nine out of ten married or common law Canadians agree that they are aware of their spouse's debt, as their spouse is of theirs, the willingness of couples to talk about their financial woes doesn't mean there's no impact of debt on relationships.
"Talking about your debt with your partner is one thing, dealing with the mess is quite another and that can cause heartache and more stress. Finding the right Trustee or credit counsellor can seem simple but you really have to know what you want in the long term. It can take more than seven years to re-establish your credit score," says Grant Bazian, President, MNP Ltd, based in Edmonton. "That means a real commitment on behalf of you and your partner."
Other Survey Highlights:
- Younger married and common law Canadians are most likely to say that their current financial situation is affecting their current relationship with their spouse or partner (41%) ahead of middle-aged (28%) and senior Canadians (16%).
- Of married and common law couples, those with children are more likely than those without kids to say that their current financial situation has affected their relationship with their spouse or partner (35% vs. 23%).
- Canadians earning lower incomes (less than $40,000 annually) are most likely to say that their current financial situation has affected their relationship with their spouse (39%).
- Nearly one in five married or common law Canadians (22%) agree that they struggle to make the minimum payments on any credit, loans, or debts they owe, despite 96% of those saying they are aware of how much debt they owe.
- Two in five couples use credit to pay for normal household expenses.
Regional data – The survey found that married or common law Atlantic Canadians (32%) are most likely to agree that they struggle to make minimum debt payments, ahead of Ontarians (25%), Albertans (22%), British Columbians (18%), Quebecers (18%) and, Saskatchewan and Manitoba residents (15%).
"Dealing with debt can be overwhelming. And this Valentine's Day, when you're getting ready to purchase that gift for your loved one, you may want to think twice as to whether or not you can afford more purchases on your credit card. Is the gift worth the high interest rates and will it bring more joy, or just more stress, to your relationship?" says Bazian.
Background About the Study – This poll was conducted by Ipsos Reid for MNP Ltd. between January 23 and 28, 2013. 1,000 married and common law-living Canadians were surveyed in an online interview. The poll is accurate to within +/- 3.5 percentage points had all married or common law Canadians been surveyed.
About MNP Ltd.
For more than 50 years, MNP Limited has helped individuals resolve their financial problems by offering life-changing debt solutions tailored to each person's unique situation. With government licensed Trustees located in more than 70 offices in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Quebec and Ontario, MNP Limited offers an unparalleled depth of Canadian consumer and corporate insolvency expertise to those experiencing financial difficulty. For more information, visit www.MNPdebt.ca.
For more information, please contact: Julie Bannerjea, Director of Media and External Communications for MNP LLP at 416-263-6988 or Julie.Bannerjea@mnp.ca. or Randy Mowat, Senior Vice-President, Marketing for MNP LLP at 403-536-5555 or Randy.Mowat@mnp.ca.