Prince Edward Island had the biggest rise in bankruptcies of any province so far this year, according to numbers just released by the federal government.
Bankruptcies and consumer proposals in 2014 are up 14 per cent over this time last year.
Marlene Foote is a certified credit counsellor in Charlottetown with Credit Counselling Services of Atlantic Canada. She says consumers are at their limit and what pushes them over the edge are things people can’t control, like illness, divorce and job loss.
"There's been quite an increase in the everyday expenses. Electricity has gone up, the price of gas has gone up," she says.
"We had a really hard winter so a lot of people rely on oil to heat their homes, so that's been quite an expense. As we all see too, the price of groceries has gone up considerably. So when the basics are going up and then people are carrying debt loads, there's only so much you can handle."
Foote worries the rate of bankruptcies will get worse when interest rates rise, even if it's only by one per cent.
She thinks financial education needs to be taught in the school system and people have to put more emphasis on budgeting.
Foote recommends turning to credit counselling early. Then, you have more options which could avoid your needing to claim bankruptcy.
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