Credit fatigue may finally be settling in for Canadian consumers
Toronto, ON (June 28, 2018) – After a prolonged period of outstanding credit performance, Equifax® Canada Co.’s Q1 2018 National Consumer Credit Trends Report points to a potential mellowing of the good times. Slowing credit growth and the strain of recent interest rate hikes are likely to halt the current trend of falling delinquency rates in the months ahead.
“Overall credit performance in Canada remains incredibly strong,” noted Regina Malina, Senior Director of Decision Insights at Equifax Canada. “Delinquency rates continued to march lower at the start of the year and credit growth has returned to healthier, more sustainable levels.”
Canadian consumer debt, including mortgages, rose to $1.828 trillion in Q1, up from $1.821 trillion in Q4 2017 (+0.4%) and $1.729 trillion a year ago (+5.7%). Loans and mortgages remain the primary growth engines according to Equifax Canada data. Auto loans were up 8.3 per cent year-over-year while bank loans were 10.6 per cent higher and mortgage lending increased 5.9 per cent over the same period. Average non-mortgage debt was up 2.9 per cent in the past year to $22,775 with average mortgage holdings at $204,850 – a 4 per cent gain in that period.
The 90 day+ delinquency rate has dropped to 1.08 per cent in Q1 2018, down from 1.15 per cent in 2017 and represents the lowest level for the quarter since 2009. The improvements are broad-based with only Saskatchewan and Newfoundland reporting higher rates of 90 day+ delinquency compared to last year. All age groups and product types posted lower delinquencies, now sitting at post-recession lows.
“While credit performance has stayed on a healthy trajectory, there are some early indicators that have started to shift,” added Malina. “The proportion of consumers paying their credit card balances in full each month has dropped recently. As unemployment holds at current levels and interest rates are likely to rise, we suspect delinquency rates to move modestly higher by year-end.”
*Data for the Equifax Canada Co. 2018 Q1 National Consumer Credit Trends Report, including scores, is sourced from Equifax Canada, the repository of the majority of credit transactions that occur in Canada. There are over 25 million unique Equifax Canada consumer credit files. Transaction volumes for data are estimated at 105 million per month. Information provided in this report was adjusted to ensure that quarterly data reflects the results as of the last month of each quarter.
Equifax is a global information solutions company that uses unique data, innovative analytics, technology and industry expertise to power organizations and individuals around the world by transforming knowledge into insights that help make more informed business and personal decisions.Headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., Equifax operates or has investments in 24 countries in North America, Central and South America, Europe and the Asia Pacific region. It is a member of Standard & Poor's (S&P) 500® Index, and its common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbol EFX. Equifax employs 10,400 employees worldwide.
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