Canadian Consumer Debt Increases
TransUnion announced its quarterly analysis of Canadian credit trends Wednesday, which found that total debt per consumer increased. Up 4.5 per cent, equaling approximately $1,000 per person, Canadian debt rose across the nation over the past year.
Information for TransUnion’s analysis is developed quarterly from anonymous credit files of all credit-active Canadian consumers. The analysis provides an in-depth perspective on how Canadians manage their credit health.
In credit card debt, statistics show that Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador had the greatest increase in the country rising to 7.8 per cent total debt per consumer. British Columbia and New Brunswick came in at the smallest increases. In general, credit card borrower debt actually declined four per cent over this quarter, the second consecutive quarter to do so.
“Our first quarter data shows a continued increase in the total debt per consumer, although the trend still remains modest compared to the double digit, pre-recession levels,” says Thomas Higgins, TransUnions Vice President of Analytics and Decisioning, in a statement.
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Other statistics from the analysis show that lines of credit debt have become the largest category of consumer debt in Canada and accounts for 41 per cent of outstanding debt. Alberta and Ontario residents are leading in this debt category as they account for over 57 per cent of the statistical debt.
“Lines of Credit continue to be the main financing vehicle for Canadians accounting for over half of all non-mortgage debt. Although LOC debt increased from the previous year, the first quarterly drop in several years combined with continued increases in installment debt may be an early sign that Canadians are shifting to a more conservative and restrictive form of financing to manage their debt loads,” concluded Higgins.