Fighting the consumer debt in Canada

Consumer debt in Canada surges to 3.6 per cent in Q3 2016

TORONTO, ONTARIO, December 8, 2016 – It looks like the credit party for Canadians is coming to an end. For years Canadians have been racking up record levels of credit card debt and now it appears many consumers are at a breaking point. New statistics from Equifax indicate levels of consumer debt in Canada and delinquency rates are rising. consumer debt in Canada

The Equifax Canada report says consumer debt increased by 3.6 per cent to $22,081 in the third quarter from the same time last year. Canadian consumers owe $1.702 Trillion this year compared to Consumer debt of $1.666 Trillion in Q3 2015 and $1.587 Trillion the year prior to that.

“There is no doubt about it, the spending behavior of Canadians has resulted in the record levels of consumer debt,” says Jeffrey Schwartz, executive director, Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada.

“For these reasons, as Canadians prepare for the holiday season, it is important they be mindful of their debt and try to change their ways of overspending and think of frugal ways to do their holiday shopping this year,” says Schwartz.

Although Canadians are feeling the pinch from across Canada, consumers in the oil-producing provinces – Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Newfoundland have the highest delinquency in the third quarter. However on a national level, delinquency rates grew to 1.14 per cent from 1.05 per cent a year prior.

Average Debt                 Average Debt change year over year (Q3 2016 vs. Q3 2015)     Delinquency Rate
(Q3 2016)
Delinquency Rate
(Q3 2015)
Ontario $21,794 4.4% 1.03% 1.04%
Quebec $18,714 4.1% 1.02% 1.04%
Nova Scotia $22,208 4.1% 1.70% 1.54%
New Brunswick $22,823 4.8% 1.70% 1.61%
PEI $22,110 5.0% 1.49% 1.37%
Newfoundland $23,363 4.5% 1.36% 1.06%
Eastern Region $22,650 4.5% 1.61% 1.44%
Alberta $27,956 1.7% 1.47% 1.03%
Manitoba $18,355 3.1% 1.25% 1.05%
Saskatchewan $24,574 3.8% 1.31% 1.00%
British Columbia $23,597 2.5% 0.95% 0.96%
Western Region $24,728 2.3% 1.22% 1.00%
Canada $22,081 3.6% 1.14% 1.05%

*All of the above statistics are from Equifax Canada
**All figures exclude mortgage debt

As Canadians approach the holiday season, it is more important than ever to get a hold of their debt management. Consolidated Credit Counseling Services offers the following tips:

Track it

Get in the habit of counting your nickel and dimes. If you spend it, track it. Manage your budget with a budgeting app.

List it

Create a holiday list of everyone you have to buy for and assign dollar amounts to each name.

Offer your talents

Give your talent as your gift of choice this year. Nothing could be more special than a gift you create.

Say no to new debt

Everywhere you go this holiday season, there is a big flashy sale sign, ignore it and keep walking. Stay true to your budget and don’t fall prey to impulse credit card purchases.

Seek credit counselling

When your debt is too much to handle by yourself, seek the professional guidance of a trained credit counsellor. They will review your budget and make the necessary recommendations to help you manage your debt.


About Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc.:

Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada is a national non-profit credit counselling organization that teaches consumers about personal finance.

For more information or to request an interview with Jeffrey Schwartz, please contact:

Natasha Carr, Community and Public Relations Manager,
Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc.,
T: 416-915-7283 ext.1041, C: 416-830-4720, F: 416-915-5200, E: [email protected]

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