Kevin Cochran, a financial expert who has worked for years on a formula to beat debt in this country, says there is a solution;
"Teaching kids how to manage their money is the only way to stop these situations happening in the first place."
In 2001, Canadians using Home Equity Lines of Credit owed $8 billion dollars - in 2010 that total had risen to an incredible $64 billion in HELOC's. Interest rates in Canada have remained steady recently, but according to Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney, even a small rise could lead to disaster - the same financial equation that homeowners in the United States found themselves in when thousands upon thousands of homeowners defaulted on their mortgages, triggering a worldwide economic meltdown.
"The business owners of the future are in school right now and they need to be taught about interest rates, debt and taxes and be given tools to make them financially responsible in the future," says Cochran. "I've worked for the past ten years to find a way to make teens listen when it comes to money - I bought my first car on my credit card and learned the hard way not to get into bad debt."
Canada's finance minister Jim Flaherty seems to agree and has a stark warning for borrowers:
"Interest rates are going to go up - get realistic about it and say 'will I be able to afford my mortgage at a higher interest rate or not?' Do the arithmetic and figure it out."