Report: Canadians borrowing responsibly

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A new report finds Canadians are using the equity in their homes to boost their financial situation, and aren't taking on excessive amounts of mortgage debt.

According to the survey, released by the Bank of Montreal, 74 per cent of Canadians are using their home equity to make upgrades to their property or to pay off higher-cost debt such as credit cards to reach their financial planning objectives.

Analysts said the data shows most homeowners are taking advantage of low mortgage rates, but still acting properly.

"If you have a track record of taking an informed, disciplined and responsible approach to managing debt, a home equity product can be a flexible and cost-effective option," said Katie Archdekin, Head of Mortgage Products, BMO Bank of Montreal. "However, those that borrow to pay for impulse or leisure items should only do so within their means."

A previous BMO survey found that home renovation spending was set to grow this year as homeowners looked to add to their properties. According to the report, spending on those upgrades was expected to jump 4 percent from last year.

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