Canadians’ personal debt levels see highest spike since 2009
Published Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013 6:06AM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013 8:36PM EST
Despite continued warnings from the Bank of Canada, Canadians can’t seem to resist the allure of low borrowing rates, racking up a 6 per cent increase in personal debt in the fourth quarter of 2012, compared to a year earlier.
That’s according to a new report from TransUnion, which says Canadians now owe an average of $27,485 in personal debt — an increase of $1,525 from the end of 2011.
Under TransUnion’s definition, personal debt excludes mortgages but includes car loans, credit cards, lines of credit and the like.
The year-over-year increase was the largest of its kind for a fourth quarter since 2009, when the year-over-year increase was 8.9 per cent.
Non-mortgage debt rose 6 per cent at year end, TransUnion data show
By: Dana Flavelle Business reporter, Published on Tue Feb 05 2013
While mortgage debt growth has been slowing, Canadian consumers are still borrowing at record levels to buy cars, finance home repairs and pay for furniture, new data shows.
The average consumer’s non-mortgage debt rose nearly 6 per cent in the last three months of 2012 compared to the same period a year earlier, according to TransUnion, one of Canada’s largest credit bureaus.
That’s the largest hike since the end of 2009, bringing the average consumer’s debt load to nearly $27,500, an increase of $1,500 over last year, the agency said Tuesday.
“After the recession, we had the non-mortgage debt per person — the growth rate — decelerating. We got down to 1 per cent (in the fourth quarter of 2011) and then went right back up again the last three quarters, from 2 to 4 to almost 6 per cent,” Thomas Higgins, TransUnion’s vice president of analytics and decision services, said in an interview.
Read more: Non-mortgage debt rose 6 per cent at year end, TransUnion data show Toronto Star