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Canadians Taking on More Non-Mortgage Related Debt Versus Last Year

May 18, 2016

Consumer Debt in Canada is Up; Average Canadian Carrying $21,348


Transunion, a credit monitoring firm, released a survey this Wednesday indicating that the average Canadian now carries $21,348 in consumer debt. Canadians were reported to have taken on more in car loans, instalment debt and credit-card debt over last year. A decrease was reported in the amount of debt that Canadians owe on lines of credit – which actually fell 0.54% below last years numbers.


Jason Wang, Research Director at Transunion, was quoted as saying, “The story on the debt front is that average balances haven’t moved much, if you consider all Canadians together…once we segment by risk tiers, we find a gradual shift debt load relative to the low-risk population.”


Borrowers with bruised or recovering credit scores were found to be the segment of the Canadian population that was doing a greater number of the borrowing in the report. These particular borrowers saw their credit card balances increase by 5.7% year over year; compared to Canadians with good credit scores who actually decreased their credit card balances.


Canadians with the best credit scores were actually paying down their debt. Those with the highest credit scores were found to have decreased their credit card debt by 1.8% while the next best segment of credit-worthy Canadians decreased their credit card debt by 4%. The ‘middle of the pack’ Canadians decreased their credit card debt by 4.7% year over year.

Sources of debt:

All Products – First Quarter 2015 : $20,785 / First Quarter 2016 : $21,348 (+2.71%)

Auto Loans – First Quarter 2015 : $19,132 / First Quarter 2016 : $19,358 (+2.12%)

Credit Card Debt – First Quarter 2015 : $3697 / First Quarter 2016 : $3,764 (+1.8%)

Instalment Loans – First Quarter 2015 : $22,504 / First Quarter 2016 : $23,591 (+4.83%)

Lines of Credit – First Quarter 2015 : $29,816 / First Quarter 2016 : $29,656 (-0.84%)

Source: Transunion


Canadians still keeping up

Despite increasing debt loads in consumer debt, Canadians are still reporting very few delinquencies overall with only 2.52% of Canadians who are three or more months behind on their non-mortgage related debt. The number of delinquencies actually declined in Ontario and British Columbia; however, an increase in delinquencies was reported in provinces hardest hit by the crash in oil prices – namely Alberta and Saskatchewan. No province reported delinquency rates greater than 4%

Fortunately for home-owners, there are options for those carrying high-interest debt. If you currently carry high-interest rate debt through credit cards or other loans, a debt consolidation may be the right strategy to help you to stop paying higher interest rates on your non-mortgage related debt.


Fill out the contact form above today to speak with a Mortgage Expert who can help determine whether it is worth it for you to consolidate your debt and just exactly how much you can qualify for – and get to zero on your debts – faster.