The Canadian economy is thriving, but it is not without its challenges. One such challenge is the increasing levels of debt among Canadian white-collar professionals. According to a 2018 survey by BDO Canada, 50% of white-collar professionals in Canada are carrying some form of debt. The survey also revealed that the average amount of debt among these professionals was around $68,000. While white-collar professionals are typically thought to be financially stable, their high levels of debt can make it difficult for them to get the help they need to get back on track. In this blog, we will explore why it is hard for white-collar professionals to get help with their debts and what they can do about it.
Lack of Financial Literacy
One of the primary reasons that white-collar professionals struggle with debt is their lack of financial literacy. Many of these professionals are highly educated and successful in their careers, but they may not have the same level of knowledge when it comes to personal finance. According to a 2019 survey by the Financial Planning Standards Council, only 14% of Canadians are confident in their financial literacy. This lack of knowledge can lead to poor financial decisions, including taking on too much debt.
Stigma around Debt
Another reason why white-collar professionals may struggle to get help with their debts is the stigma surrounding debt. Many people, including white-collar professionals, see debt as a personal failure and may feel ashamed or embarrassed to seek help. This can lead to a reluctance to reach out for assistance, even when it is needed. In fact, the same BDO Canada survey found that 40% of respondents were too embarrassed to discuss their debt with anyone.
Lack of Resources
Another factor that can make it hard for white-collar professionals to get help with their debts is the lack of resources available to them. While there are many resources available for those struggling with debt, they may not be tailored to the needs of white-collar professionals. For example, many debt relief programs focus on low-income individuals, which may not be applicable to those with higher incomes. Additionally, some of these programs may require a significant amount of time and effort, which can be challenging for those with demanding careers.
What Can White-Collar Professionals Do?
Despite these challenges, there are steps that white-collar professionals can take to get help with their debts. The first step is to acknowledge the problem and seek out assistance. There are many resources available, including financial planners, credit counsellors, and debt relief programs, that can help white-collar professionals get back on track. It is important to remember that seeking help is not a sign of weakness, but rather a proactive step towards financial stability.
White-collar professionals can also improve their financial literacy by taking courses or attending seminars on personal finance. There are many free resources available, including online courses and webinars, that can help individuals improve their financial knowledge and make better decisions about their money.
Finally, white-collar professionals can take steps to reduce their debt load. This may include creating a budget, cutting back on unnecessary expenses, and exploring debt consolidation options. By taking these steps, white-collar professionals can not only reduce their debt but also improve their overall financial health.
In conclusion, while white-collar professionals may face unique challenges when it comes to debt, there are resources available to help them get back on track. By acknowledging the problem, seeking out assistance, and improving their financial literacy, white-collar professionals can take control of their finances and achieve long-term financial stability.
The BDO Canada study referenced in the blog post was conducted internally by BDO Canada. BDO Canada is a professional services firm that provides assurance, accounting, tax, and advisory services to a wide range of clients in various industries. The study surveyed 2,047 Canadians in 2018, including 614 white-collar professionals.