TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - June 22, 2017) - (NYSE:EFX) - Consumer demand for credit is as high as it has ever been according to Equifax Canada's Q1 National Consumer Credit Trends Report. When compared to the first quarter of 2016, credit inquires increased by 3.6 per cent and total consumer debt (including mortgages) climbed to $1.729 trillion, an increase of 6.9 per cent.
Canadians seem conflicted about their relationship with debt. In a recent consumer survey* commissioned by Equifax Canada, 63 per cent of Canadians said they are not comfortable with debt in general. Of those who said their debt had increased over the past three years, more than half (51 per cent) blamed expenses that have outpaced their income.
"Overall, despite increasing debt numbers, more monthly payments are being made on time and there are fewer bankruptcies," explained Regina Malina, Senior Director of Data & Analytics at Equifax Canada. "At the same time consumers are seeking credit again after several quarters of slowing down, driven by activity in Ontario and Eastern provinces. Borrowing activity is also expanding more in these two regions but people in Newfoundland are having more difficulty making timely payments than in the other provinces."
The 90+ day delinquency rate in Newfoundland increased by 23.8 per cent, the highest of all the provinces. Delinquency rate increases remain high in Saskatchewan (18.9 per cent), and Alberta (13.8 per cent), but they are much lower when compared to the last few quarters. Delinquency rates declined the most in Ontario (-6.1 per cent), Quebec (-5.6 per cent) and B.C. (-5.6 per cent).
In the first quarter of 2017, the average consumer debt (exclusive of mortgage debt), increased to $22,125 and the overall delinquency rate stayed at 1.15 per cent. On a debt classification basis, installment loan and auto loan sectors are showing significant increases of 8.0 per cent and 6.6 per cent year-over-year, respectively.
"While every age group continues to increase their debt obligations, seniors are slowing down on the amount of debt they are carrying," said Malina. "Seniors were accumulating more debt last year, but this appears to be in check again. Younger generations continue to have the biggest year-over-year increases in terms of debt."
Age Group Analysis - Debt (excluding mortgages) & Delinquency Rates
Major City Analysis - Debt (excluding mortgages) & Delinquency Rates
Province Analysis - Debt (excluding mortgages) & Delinquency Rates
Data for the Equifax Canada 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 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.
*An online survey of 1583 Canadians was completed between April 17-20, 2017 using Leger's online panel, Léger Web. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20
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 820 million consumers and more than 91 million businesses worldwide, and its databases include employee data contributed from more than 7,100 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 9,500 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 www.equifax.com.
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