Log In
Sign Up

Credit Card Bills Causing Shame for Canadians


Jan 20, 2016 4 min read

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Linkedin
Credit Card Bills Causing Shame for Canadians

Credit Card Bills Causing Shame for Canadians

Majority of Canadians would rather admit their weight or salary than credit card debt

TORONTO (January 13, 2016) – The holidays are over. The most depressing day of the year, Blue Monday, is almost here and holiday credit card bills are starting to roll in. According to a recent survey, Canadians are feeling ashamed of their high credit card debt with 1 in 10 Canadians saying they are ‘very’ to ‘extremely’ ashamed of their credit card debt. In fact, 52 per cent revealed they are actually more embarrassed to admit their credit card debt than they would be admitting their weight or salary.

The survey, conducted by Canada’s leading online marketplace lender Borrowell, revealed 58 per cent of Canadians have carried or are carrying expensive credit card debt. Atlantic Canadians are the most likely to have carried credit card debt at some point in their lives, at 71 per cent, followed by British Columbia (65%) and Alberta (64%). According to the Bank of Canada, Canadians currently hold $84 billion in credit card debt.

What’s most concerning is that credit card debt is affecting the well-being of many Canadians. Nearly 2 in 5 Canadians say they have lost sleep because of their credit card debt and of those who have carried debt, many admit that it has affected their quality of life and personal 30 per cent of those with credit card debt say it is preventing them from doing the things they enjoy and 14 per cent say they have hidden credit card debt from their spouse.

Other Interesting Survey Findings:

  • Women are more likely than men to hide the amount of their credit card debt from their spouse

  • Compared to other age groups, middle-aged Canadians (35-54) are most likely to carry credit card debt and feel ashamed (59%) about it.

  • 55% of men would be more embarrassed to admit their credit card debt than their weight or salary

“Because they’re so convenient, credit cards are the first thing many Canadians turn to when they need credit,” said Andrew Graham, CEO, Borrowell. “Yet the findings from the survey show that Canadians are feeling ashamed of their credit card debt. For many people, these feelings are especially strong in January, when the holidays are over and credit card bills are high. So it’s a great time of year to be talking about high-cost debt and the solutions that are available.”

Here are some tips to pay off credit card debt in 2016:

Prioritize paying off your debt.

At 19.9% interest, credit card debt is costly. Paying it down is typically the single greatest thing you can do to improve your immediate financial standing.

Cut back on your expenses.

Do you really need that $5 latte? Use the extra cash to pay off your credit card instead.

Redirect money that you’re investing each month.

Don’t invest your money until your credit card debt is paid off. You need more than a 20% return to match the benefit of paying off credit cards.

Use savings to pay off debt.

If you have money sitting in a savings account earning 1% interest, use some of that to pay off your credit card. The return you’ll get is much higher.

See if you qualify for a lower rate loan.

If you have good credit you can pay off your credit card with a personal loan and potentially save thousands of dollars. Borrowell helps responsible Canadians with good credit eliminate their credit card debt. You can get a rate quote instantly online, and it doesn’t affect your credit score.

For more information, visit

About The Survey

From December 14th to December 15th, 2015 an online survey was conducted among 1,519 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error — which measures sampling variability—is +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to education, age, gender and region (and in Quebec, language) Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

About Borrowell

Borrowell is an innovative Canadian online lender that offers fast, fair, and friendly personal loans. Borrowell helps responsible Canadians with good credit eliminate their credit card debt today and sleep better tonight. Find out more at

For more information, please contact:

Linda North (for Borrowell) 416-708-8012 [email protected] or [email protected]

Borrowell Logo
External Link
Share on Twitter
Share on Linkedin

Borrowell is dedicated to making financial stability possible for everyone. With over 3 million members, the company offers free credit scores in Canada, education, weekly credit monitoring, credit building solutions, as well as digital tools like AI-powered credit coaching and personalized financial product recommendations. For more information, visit or download the mobile app for Android or iOS.

Similar Topics

8 Tips to Improve Your Credit Score

How To Improve Your Credit Score in Canada

Here are eight tangible steps you can take to improve your credit score. Your credit score directly impacts your ability to get approved for financing, including credit cards, loans, and mortgages.

The Borrowell Team

Feb 04, 2021

Learn More

Can You Build Credit by Paying Rent?

Thanks to rent reporting services, you can now build your credit score by paying your rent on time every month.

Janine DeVault

Jun 17, 2024

Read More

Loan vs line of credit

With all the different credit options available in Canada, it’s important to understand the differences between each one so that you can find the right product for your needs. Credit can be useful to help you establish a history and finance purchases, but should be used mindfully.

In this Borrowing 101 article, we’ll give you an overview of personal loans and lines of credit to help you understand how they work, when to use them, and what to be careful of in order to protect your credit score.

The Borrowell Team

Feb 28, 2023

Learn More