The number of British Columbians $200 away from insolvency rose to 44 per cent since March, coinciding with problems in the forestry sector.

The Consumer Debt Index showed the 5 per cent rise in people being close to being unable to pay money owed was the most substantial increase compared to other provinces.

MNP Prince George Licensed Insolvency Trustee, Leah Drewcock said although several factors are leading to the increases, recent curtailments and shutdowns in the forestry sector in Northern BC are having an impact.

“We see a number of British Columbians, more than we did in the past suffering from financial difficulties. They are getting to that point where they feel they won’t be able to meet their debts as they come due.”

She added a lot of residents are struggling and forgoing the basic necessities for as long as they can before seeking help.

“It can be a result of health issues or as you say employment insurance running out from previously being unemployed,” said Drewcock.

Loss of employment insurance is an issue some people in the Northern BC forestry industry are facing due to multiple curtailments than shutdowns.

The Consumer Debt Index said a survey showed 60 per cent of British Columbians rate their personal debt situation as bad, with a quarter stating they don’t know how to deal with it.

Drewcock said it is difficult to break that cycle of continuously using credit and with people just paying the minimum to get through to the next paycheque.

“British Columbians should be wary of any company marketing a quick fix for your debt forgiveness. There really is no such thing as a quick fix.”