Canadians wish they had paid down debt while rates were lower

Canadians remain committed to reducing their household debt in 2018 according to a new poll from CIBC.

The lender found that paying down debt was the top financial priority of 25% of respondents, the 8th consecutive year that it has topped the list. Two thirds said that they need to improve the handling of their finances in the year ahead.

While the quest to reduce debt is strong as 2018 begins, 51% of respondents said they wish they had taken advantage of low interest rates to reduce what they owe; just 16% actually paid down debt in 2017.

Around a quarter of respondents said they took on extra debt last year with a third doing so just to pay day-to-day expenses.

Along with debt reduction, the most important financial goals this year include growing wealth (13%) and saving for retirement (7%).

"While debt repayment is still the number one priority, Canadians recognize that it's just as important to focus on building savings and growing your nest egg," says Jennifer Hubbard, Managing Director, Financial Planning and Advice, CIBC.

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