TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Dec. 2, 2015) - On average, Canadians' ability to pay back loans has never been better, according to Equifax Canada's Q3 2015 National Consumer Credit Trends Report. The report now pegs the 90+ delinquency rate (excluding mortgages) at its lowest level ever at 1.05 per cent, a decrease of 4.3 per cent when compared to the same quarter last year.
The decrease in the national 90+ delinquency rate was largely driven by the continued changes in Ontario. Improvements were also seen in Quebec and eastern provinces in the third quarter. Notable increases, however, did occur in the oil-producing western provinces and Newfoundland.
"During holiday season, as always, people should make smart debt and spending decisions based on their individual circumstances," said Regina Malina, Senior Director of Decision Insights at Equifax Canada. "Delinquency rates are an indicator that we follow closely and we are now seeing a negative effect in western Canada. The same holds true in Newfoundland - essentially anywhere in the country where the economy is impacted by oil."
In the previous quarter, the 90+ day delinquency rate for Canadians aged 65+ rose for the first time since 2010. In the third quarter, all demographic groups showed a decrease with respect to delinquency rates. The average debt within the 65+ age segment, however, is still increasing at the fastest rate in Q3 2015.
Major City Analysis - Debt (excluding mortgages) & Delinquency Rates
Province Analysis - Debt (excluding mortgages) & Delinquency Rates
The numbers of bankruptcies in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland & Labrador also increased in the third quarter. The average bankruptcy balance increased in Q3 2015 when compared to the same quarter last year, mainly driven by the younger segments, and all regions but Ontario. Overall, however, consumer bankruptcies were down 9.3 per cent when compared to the same quarter last year.
Total reported consumer debt is now at $1.587 trillion compared to $1.568 trillion in Q2 2015 and $1.513 trillion a year ago, which represents an increase of 1.24 per cent and 4.92 per cent. On a debt classification basis, the installment loan, auto loan and national credit card sectors showed significant increases of 8.1 per cent, 5.1 per cent year-over-year, and 2.6 per cent respectively. The average consumer debt is $21,312, which increased by 2.0 per cent versus the same quarter last year.
"Consumer debt levels continue to rise and those numbers are sure to increase following the holidays," added Malina. "However, despite other market research we've seen predicting a boom in spending over the holidays, we expect most Canadians will continue to manage their spending wisely. Demand for new credit has eased off."
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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Equifax is a global leader in consumer, commercial and workforce information solutions that provide 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 enable 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 2015, Forbes named Equifax one of the World's 100 Most Innovative companies; Bloomberg BusinessWeek nominated it as one of its Top 50 companies; its CIO was named one of the top 100 by CIO magazine; the company ranked 16th in the Fintech 100 list; and it was recognized as a top 20 company to work for by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was named a 2015 InformationWeek Elite 100 Winner. For more information, please visit www.equifax.com.
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