The Info Underground
Feeling maxed out? Smothered by a growing burden of credit card
payments, loans, mortgages and other debts?
You are not alone. The average Canadian is shouldering a personal debt load greater than their total yearly net income. Never before in history have so many people been in so much debt to large corporations, and our debt load is mounting daily. “We are living from paycheque to paycheque,” describes one credit counselor, “People are living on borrowed money, and its scary.”
DEBT TRAP examines why the average Canadian is sinking deeper in hock, by looking at the stories of several individuals and families who are struggling with debt. Jennifer and Somxay, both recent graduates, are maxed out with credit cards. Joel and Melany are house poor, despite the fact that their salaries total in the six figures. Rich is approaching retirement with $150,000 in personal debt.
Dominic and Pauline have turned to credit cards and credit lines to survive after Dominic was laid off from his job. Denise is trying to finish a PhD degree while facing the prospect of paying back $100,000 in student loans. And Shawn and Cheryl are trapped in a cycle of payday loan debt, in which lenders are charging as much as 3000% interest.
DEBT TRAP looks beyond blaming individual consumers, to examine the roles of lending institutions, the corporate sector, and governments in understanding the current debt crisis and what we can do to correct it. The film includes analysis from a wide variety of experts including a banking executive, a credit counselor, an author who has written on the topic, an economist from a Canadian thinktank, a student federation leader, and a community activist.
As the recent debt crisis in the United States threatens to impact on Canada, the questions raised by DEBT TRAP couldn’t be more timely. Sobering, ironic, and enlightening, the film probes the reasons why more and more of us are struggling to keep afloat, and what needs to be done to turn this trend around.