Canadian Consumer Debt Tops $2 Trillion

Continued growth in the housing market and new auto loans led the way in driving total consumer debt up by 3.8 per cent to $2.041 trillion in the third quarter of 2020, according to Equifax Canada’s most recent report on consumer credit conditions. Overall average consumer debt rose to $74,897, up 3.3 percent compared to the third quarter of 2019.

Over 3 million consumers opted for payment deferrals at some point since the pandemic started. Improvements in the job market combined with some consumers reaching the end of agreed lender deferral periods has led to less than half still having an active deferral at the end of September 2020.

Deferral accommodations have not stopped consumers from seeking new credit, approximately 12 per cent of new credit products in Q3 2020 were opened by consumers who had some form of deferral on their credit file. 

The 90+ day delinquency rate (the percentage of balances where credit users have missed 3+ payments) for non-mortgage debt dropped to 0.98 per cent – the lowest level since 2014 (down 15 per cent compared to Q3 2019).


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