Debt Nation: CBC News's look at the state of consumer debt in Canada

This week, the Bank of Canada raised its benchmark interest rate by a quarter point for the fifth time since last summer. It now sits at 1.75%, the highest it's been since December 2008. What that means for Canadians is that their debt is getting more expensive. CBC News is following the impact.

A whole generation has never experienced anything but rock-bottom interest rates. Now what?

This week, the Bank of Canada raised its benchmark interest rate by a quarter point for the fifth time since last summer. It now sits at 1.75 per cent, the highest it's been since December 2008. 

What that means for Canadians is that their debt is getting more expensive. CBC News is following the impact that is having in an ongoing series called Debt Nation.

Catch up on the coverage here:

How much do we owe, and what are we doing about it? 

Canadian families are feeling the pinch.

(Shuttershock)

Average household debt per city*


A success story 


Homeowners worried about paying down debt

Many Canadian homeowners are worried about rising interest rates and how they will impact their budget, a new CBC survey finds.

A series of mishaps conspired to tip Lee and Chris Hyndman into debt, from which they only recently have begun to recover. (Richard Grundy/CBC)

Long-term loans: The fuel that's powering car sales

Jacqueline Hansen took a look at the impact of longer-term car loans. 

Watch her story here: 

Canadians are buying more vehicles than ever. With most borrowing money in order to make this purchase, Jacqueline Hansen reports that longer and longer car loans are the new normal. 3:06
 

And Heather Hiscox spoke to Mohamed Bouchama of Car Help Canada who provided tips on how to buy a car and avoid the pitfalls of those same loans.

Watch Heather Hiscox's interview here: 

Heather Hiscox speaks to Mohamed Bouchama of Car Help Canada who offers tips on how to avoid the pitfalls of long-term loans. 6:46

Economic cheer will be painful for some: Don Pittis

"Higher interest rates are always difficult when people haven't seen them for a long time."

Governor of the Bank of Canada Stephen Poloz announced a fifth interest rate hike since the summer. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

When does concern turn to crisis? 

Experts have been telling Canadians for years that there's nowhere for interest rates to go but up — and that they'd better be prepared.

Still, the rate hikes of the past year or so have caught some Canadians by surprise. Are they on the road to a crisis?

Watch Peter Armstrong's segment from The National: 

Peter Armstrong looks at what would move Canadians from debt concerns to debt crisis 4:29


As lending gets tighter, Canadians face threat of credit card trap: Don Pittis 

Credit card debt can be seductive when times get tough, but it also has a knack for piling on problems.

Paying by credit card has become increasingly convenient. All you have to do is tap. But financial experts say if you can't pay off your credit card bill in a month, you are living beyond your means. (CBC)

An honest assessment


Your questions about rising interest rates

Personal finance expert Shannon Lee Simmons answered many of the most often asked questions people have about rising interest rates, such as: 

  • How does this affect my car loan? 
  • Should I lock into a fixed or variable rate mortgage? 
  • How can I save if don't make a lot of money?

Watch the Facebook Live with personal finance expert Shannon Lee Simmons:

From mortgages to car loans and credit card debt, here's how the Bank of Canada's rising interest rates could affect your monthly budget, according to financial planner Shannon Lee Simmons. 40:01

Canadians' indebtedness a concern amid rising interest rates

CBC's weekend business panel discusses the Bank of Canada's interest rate hike and what it means for Canadians' debt levels.

Watch the full biz panel discussion:

Our weekend business panel discusses the Bank of Canada's interest rate hike and what it means for Canadians' debt levels. 18:56