According to a recent survey sponsored by mortgage insurer Genworth Financial Canada, homeowners are in the best shape when it comes to financial fitness in Canada.
Sixty-five percent of homeowners pay off their credit card balances each month (versus 48% of non-homeowners). Furthermore, a quarter of those homeowners with mortgages have managed to make a lump-sum payment or accelerate their mortgage payments in the past year.
Nearly half (44%) of homeowners were able to pay all of their bills and save some money in the past year, suggesting a strong correlation between homeownership and financial fitness.
The Financial Fitness survey was conducted in conjunction with the Canadian Association of Credit Counselling Services. Compared to the same survey undertaken in 2007 when the economy was booming, Canadians are even more likely now to say their financial fitness is good (55% versus 50%).
Other key survey findings show:
* Mortgage holders more likely to have accelerated or made a lump-sum payment include those with incomes $75-$99k (32%) or $100k+ (30%), and women more than men (26% versus 21%).
* 49% of homeowners made down payments of 20% or more on their purchase
* 13% of homeowners say they are in great financial shape
* 12% of homeowners say they have requested a credit report within the past 12 months
* 59% of Canadians say they pay their credit cards in full each month
* 39% of Canadians say that in the past year they were able to pay their bills and save some money. A further 41% were able to pay their bills but not save
* First-time buyers/those who intend to buy a home as well as those requiring mortgage insurance are more likely to have spoken to a financial planner/coach in the past 12 months