At more than $1.513 trillion in debt, Canadian consumers have yet again set a record, says Equifax Canada.
Comparatively, consumer debt was $1.448 trillion in Q2 2014 and $1.409 trillion a year earlier: an increase of 4.5% and 7.4%. Auto loan and installment loan sectors showed the most significant increases, at 6.8% and 5.8% year-over-year, respectively.
The average debt held by Canadians, excluding mortgages, has increased by 2.7% to $20,891.
Despite the increasing debt numbers, the national 90-plus day delinquency rate continued its downward trend reaching its lowest level since 2008 – down to 1.1%. While Toronto has the highest delinquency rate, it has been on the fastest downward trend since 2009.
“While the debt numbers are worrisome, it’s certainly positive to see delinquency and bankruptcy rates inch down each quarter,” says Regina Malina, senior director of decision insights at Equifax Canada. “While debt figures have gone up, they have increased at a slower rate in the third quarter with most Canadians seemingly still spending within their means.”
When compared to the same quarter last year, consumer demand for new credit continues to increase, driven mainly by national credit card and auto credit inquiries. The demand for credit in the West has increased for six consecutive quarters, while activity in the eastern provinces continues to slow down.