The Canadian government has implemented several debt relief programs targeting household liquidity constraints. These programs allow individuals to push off payments and lower their interest rates.
One program makes it possible for homeowners to pause their mortgage payments for up to 6-months and use the freed-up cash flow to pay back bad high-interest debt.
Despite potential savings of over $4 billion, these programs have not reached the majority of those who could benefit from them and enrolment has been limited: only 24% for mortgages and 7% for credit cards. Research suggests that close to 80% of eligible homeowners were unaware of these debt relief programs.