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Ontarians are piling up non-mortgage debt

9/6/2017 | Posted in Financial Health by Michael Antczak | Back to Main Blog Page

Cheque Debt Bills Signature

Debt levels in Ontario are outpacing the other provinces while those in Western Canada are declining – and it’s not just home loans.

Data from Equifax shows that total consumer debt across Canada (including mortgages) climbed 6.2% to $1.769 trillion in the second quarter of 2017. Taking out mortgage debt, the average consumer debt increased to $22,595.

Ontario’s non-mortgage debt was up 5.1% in Q2 while Saskatchewan (1.7%) and Alberta (1.8%) showed more modest increases.

The good news is that the delinquency rate year-over-year is declining generally: 8.1% in Ontario, 9.8% in BC, and 10.6% in PEI. Even Alberta saw a decline of 1.7% following two years of larger quarterly rates.

"Even in the face of potential increase of interest rates, consumers across the country continue to borrow and spend to some degree. Their overall ability to pay back this money on time remains stable though. As interest rates gradually rise, and borrowing costs increase, this trend may be impacted over time," explained Regina Malina, Senior Director of Data & Analytics at Equifax Canada.

Older Canadians (65+) are showing the largest percentage increases in debt (4.3% compared to 1.7% for millennials) but are managing their debt well. 

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