Canadian consumer debt levels are soaring, according to Equifax Canada’s 2017 Q4 National Consumer Credit Trends Report.
While debt is increasing, the new report found 46% of consumers decreasing their personal debt. Still, including mortgages, Canadian consumers owe $1.821 trillion as of Q4 2017, compared to $1.797 trillion in Q3 2017 and $1.718 trillion a year earlier, an increase of 1.3% and 6%, respectively
The average debt held by all Canadians up by 3.3% or $22,837 per person, according to the report.
Leading the way as the regions fasted to rack up debt are Canada’s most expensive cities, Toronto and Vancouver.
In the year-over-year debt change, both cities tied at a 5.2% increase, with Toronto’s average debt sitting at $21,947, and Vancouver even higher at $25,763.
But it’s Fort McMurray, AB, that has the highest average debt, at $38,359.
Meanwhile, turns out millennials may not be the worst at managing their debt.
Equifax found that those 26 to 35 years old had an average debt of $17,742, which is lower than the Canadian average.
“Millennials have had the highest delinquency rates in terms of age, but we’ve seen a 9% reduction in their delinquency rate from a year ago,” said Regina Malina, Senior Director of Decision Insights at Equifax Canada.
“Their overall debt has continued to increase, but they seem to be handling their payments better. This situation stresses the importance of financial literacy of younger Canadians.”
But higher debts for those aged 46 to 55 and 56 to 65 could be a factor in low numbers among their children, according to Malina.
“Once again, however, the debt of older Canadians also continues to rise perhaps suggesting Millennials are getting some help.”
And forget mortgages. With rent in Vancouver and Toronto continuously climbing, it’s no wonder young people need financial assistance.