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1 in 3 feeling rate pinch

One in three Canadians say that they are already feeling the effects of increasing interest rates, a new poll suggest.

The survey done for insolvency firm MNP Ltd. also found that four in 10 of those queried say that if interest rates go up much more, they are afraid they will be in financial trouble.

"It's clear that people are nowhere near prepared for a higher rate environment," MNP president Grant Bazian said in a statement. "The good news is that there seems to be at least the acknowledgment now that rates are going to climb which might make people reassess their spending habits - especially using credit."

Seven in 10 say that with interest rates headed higher, they will be more careful about how they spend their money.

The Bank of Canada has raised its key interest rate target twice this year, moves that have prompted the big banks to raise their prime lending rates.

Increases in the big bank prime rates push up the cost of variable-rate mortgages and other loans such as home equity lines of credit that are tied to the benchmark rate.

Borrowers with fixed-rate mortgages will have seen no change in the cost of their loans, but rates for new fixed-rate mortgages and those seeking to renew their mortgages have also moved higher in recent months.

The Bank of Canada is expected to make its next rate announcement Wednesday. Economists expect no change to its overnight rate target.

The amount Canadians owe compared with their disposable income hit a record high in the second quarter.

Statistics Canada said household credit market debt as a proportion of household disposable income increased to 167.8 per cent, up from 166.6 per cent in the first quarter.



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