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Perfection in personal finance is zero debt, but the reality of life in today’s world is that people from all generations are borrowers. To find out how your own debts compare to others in your age group, tell us your age and the amount of your various debts. The calculator then shows you, with complete anonymity, how you compare to your peers with the same type of debt. Data for the calculator was gathered from a survey of 6,158 Globe and Mail readers.


This project aims to compare the amount of debt held by readers to the average amount held by their peers who hold the same type of debt. The data used in this project was collected from an online survey conducted by The Globe and Mail. Among 6,158 respondents, 47 per cent said they have mortgages, 19 per cent have a HELOC, 4 per cent have student loans, 21 per cent have credit card debts and 20 per cent have other debts. To ensure the averages are not skewed by individuals without debt, the average debt amount for each loan type within each age group is calculated by excluding zero balances. Overall average debt levels for HELOCs and credit cards may reflect individuals who borrowed unusually high amounts. The survey asked participants to provide their personal numbers, but mortgages and HELOCs typically reflect debt for a household.

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Data analysis by Yang Sun

Interactive development by Carys Mills

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