A majority of Canadian homeowners classify themselves as "smart
spenders" even though more than three-quarters of those surveyed carry
some type of non-mortgage debt that, on average, tops $29,000, a new
study released yesterday suggests.

The Harris/Decima report, commissioned by the Bank of Montreal, also
shows that Torontonians are the most likely to mimic the American
archetype of using their home as a piggy bank. About 55 per cent of
homeowners in this city have a home equity line of credit secured
against their house.

The report suggests that while home equity lines of credit are
frequently used, homeowners are also tapping other types of credit.


"People who have a HELC (home equity line of credit) are more likely
to have higher debt loads of $90,000 or more," the study found.

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