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Equifax Canada Reports Canadian Consumer Debt Increasing but at a Slower Pace

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Sept. 15, 2015) - New data from Equifax Canada's Q2 2015 National Consumer Credit Trends Report suggests Canadians are still adding on debt, but at a slower rate. Total consumer debt is now at $1.568 trillion, driven by the installment loan and auto loan sectors which increased by 8.0% and 3.9% year-over-year, respectively. The average consumer debt is $21,164, which increased by 2.0% versus 2.7% in the previous quarter.


In Western Canada, debt levels are essentially flat having increased just 0.6% since the same quarter last year. Albertans still hold the most debt compared to any other province, but there was no increase to debt levels in the second quarter.


Average Debt

  Average Debt Year-over-Year Changes
(Q2 2015 vs. Q2 2014)
Ontario $20,793 2.0%
Quebec $17,758 3.8%
Nova Scotia $21,063 2.7%
New Brunswick $21,449 3.0%
PEI $20,853 2.9%
Newfoundland $22,055 2.6%
Eastern Region $21,391 2.8%
Alberta $27,313 -0.1%
Manitoba $17,573 2.9%
Saskatchewan $23,347 1.4%
British Columbia $23,011 0.4%
Western Region $24,044 0.6%
Canada $21,164 2.0%



Nationally, consumer bankruptcies are down 9.4%, as is the 90 day+ delinquency rate by 1.6%.


"The overall trend we've seen with debt levels going up and delinquency rates coming down is still the case, but some of the sub-segments within the Canadian population are changing their behaviour," explained Regina Malina, Senior Director of Decision Insights at Equifax Canada. "We're starting to see the impact of low oil prices in the West as these prices are forcing a new reality on Alberta and Saskatchewan in particular. In these two provinces the debt levels are stable, but the delinquency rate has started to increase."


On a demographic basis, the 90+ day delinquency rate for Canadians aged 65+ rose for the first time since 2010. The rate increased by 2.4% this quarter versus a decrease of 5.1% in the previous quarter.


"Delinquency rates for all other age groups are decreasing by different degrees, but for the first time in several years, we've seen this change in behaviour from seniors," noted Malina. "In the light of the fact that debt carried by seniors has been increasing faster than for other age groups for a while, we will monitor this trend closely in the coming quarters."


Demand for new credit is strongest in the auto sector, growing everywhere except Quebec. Increase in appetite for credit slowed down in the Western region and decreased in the Eastern provinces.


National and Regional Demand for Credit

  Year-over-Year % Changes
  2015 vs 2014  
  Q1 Q2
Ontario 2.6% 3.1%
Quebec 0.7% 0.5%
Western Region 5.2% 3.2%
Eastern Region -1.0% 4.3%
Canada 2.7% 2.5%



Data for this report, including scores, are sourced from Equifax Canada, the repository of the majority of credit transactions that occur in Canada. There are over 25 million unique Equifax 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.


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About Equifax

Equifax is a global leader in consumer, commercial and workforce information solutions that provides businesses of all sizes and consumers with insight and information they can trust. Equifax organizes and assimilates data on more than 600 million consumers and 81 million businesses worldwide. The company's significant investments in differentiated data, its expertise in advanced analytics to explore and develop new multi-source data solutions, and its leading-edge proprietary technology enables it to create and deliver unparalleled customized insights that enrich both the performance of businesses and the lives of consumers.


Headquartered in Atlanta, Equifax operates or has investments in 19 countries and is a member of Standard & Poor's (S&P) 500® Index. Its common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbol EFX. In 2014, Equifax was nominated as a Bloomberg BusinessWeek Top 50 company; its CIO was listed as one of the top 100 by CIO magazine; and the company was named to the Fintech 100 list, was recognized as a top 20 company to work for by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and was named a 2014 InformationWeek Elite 100 Winner. For more information, please visit


Andrew Findlater
SELECT Public Relations
(416) 659-1197

Tom Carroll
Media Relations
Equifax Canada
(416) 227-5290