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Equifax Canada Reports Canadians are Acting Responsibly With Their Debt, Though Overall Debt Continues to Increase


TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - May 26, 2016) - Overall debt and delinquency rates in Canada are changing at rates similar to what was observed over the last several quarters, according to Equifax Canada's Q1 2016 National Consumer Credit Trends Report. However, the trend is not uniform in every region. Consumer behaviour at the individual level shows the majority of the population is not looking to increase debt. In fact, the majority of consumers are decreasing their non-mortgage debt overall, specifically on credit cards, when compared to the previous quarter.


% of Consumers Non-Mortgage Credit Products Credit Cards
Adding Debt 31% 37%
Holding Steady 8% 5%
Decreasing Debt 60% 57%
New to Credit 1% 1%
Total 100% 100%



Total consumer debt is still on the rise. As of Q1 2016, Canadian consumers owe $1,618.1 Billion, compared to $1,621.5 Billion in Q4 2015 and $1,544.4 Billion a year earlier, a decrease of 0.21% and an increase of 4.78%, respectively.


On a debt classification basis, the installment and auto loan sectors are showing significant increases of 7.7% and 5.9% year-over-year, respectively.


"While most consumers are tightening up on their spending, partially due to seasonal spending, a significant number of consumers are still adding to their debt obligations," said Regina Malina, Senior Director of Decision Insights at Equifax Canada. "While overall debt has continued to increase on an annual basis, one has to take a closer look at specific sub-groups to see the full picture."


Canadians have not dramatically changed their credit card payment behaviours, with the majority paying most of their credit card balances each month according to new data sets generated by Payment Dimensions™, a new solution in the Equifax Dimensions™ product suite. This solution offers a more granular perspective on how Canadians are managing their debt and can help Equifax clients make smarter, results-oriented decisions.


"Deliquency rates are low and most consumers are reining in their debt," added Malina. "This is particularly true in Western Canada. Consumers are to some degree adjusting their finances and making sound choices based on their individual situations."


Total debt and ability to pay monthly obligation differ across regions:


Major City Analysis - Debt (excluding mortgages) & Delinquency Rates

  Average Debt Delinquency Rate Change Year-over-Year 
(Q1 2016 vs. Q1 2015)
Calgary $28,332 23.1%
Edmonton $26,418 35.2%
Halifax $23,125 1.1%
Montreal $16,857 -1.4%
Ottawa $20,943 -0.6%
Toronto $20,036 -4.1%
Vancouver $23,711 -7.5%
St. John's $24,300 19.1%



Province Analysis - Debt (excluding mortgages) & Delinquency Rates

  Average Debt Delinquency Rate Change Year-over-Year 
(Q1 2016 vs. Q1 2015)
Ontario $21,167 -4.1%
Quebec $18,182 -1.6%
Nova Scotia $21,696 0.0%
New Brunswick $22,091 -2.7%
PEI $21,546 2.7%
Newfoundland $22,657 14.6%
Eastern Region $22,024 1.5%
Alberta $27,473 35.9%
Manitoba $17,867 11.7%
Saskatchewan $23,885 19.0%
British Columbia $23,177 -3.1%
Western Region $24,259 15.6%
Canada $21,526 3.2%



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.


Click HERE for more information.

©2016 Equifax Canada Co. Equifax Dimensions and Payment Dimensions are trademarks of Equifax Canada Co.


About Equifax

Equifax powers the financial future of individuals and organizations around the world. Using the combined strength of unique trusted data, technology and innovative analytics, Equifax has grown from a consumer credit company into a leading provider of insights and knowledge that helps its customers make informed decisions. The company organizes, assimilates and analyzes data on more than 800 million consumers and more than 88 million businesses worldwide, and its databases include employee data contributed from more than 5,000 employers.


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 approximately 9,200 employees worldwide.


Some noteworthy achievements for the company include: Ranked 13 on the American Banker FinTech Forward list (2015); named a Top Technology Provider on the FinTech 100 list (2004-2015); named an InformationWeek Elite 100 Winner (2014-2015); named a Top Workplace by Atlanta Journal Constitution (2013-2015); named one of Fortune's World's Most Admired Companies (2011-2015); named one of Forbes' World's 100 Most Innovative Companies (2015). For more information, visit


Andrew Findlater
SELECT Public Relations
(416) 659-1197

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