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Equifax Canada reports consumer debt grows to over $1.5 trillion

Staff writer |
Heading into the holidays, Canadian consumers have yet again tipped the scales setting a new benchmark of over $1.513 trillion in debt, according to Equifax Canada's Q3 2014 National Consumer Credit Trends Report.

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Comparatively, consumer debt was $1.448 trillion in Q2 2014 and $1.409 trillion a year earlier: an increase of 4.5 percent and 7.4 percent. Auto loan and installment loan sectors showed the most significant increases, at 6.8 percent and 5.8 percent year-over-year, respectively.

The average debt held by Canadians, excluding mortgages, has increased by 2.7 percent to $20,891.

Despite the increasing debt numbers, the national 90+ day delinquency rate continued its downward trend reaching its lowest level since 2008, down to 1.10 percent. While Toronto has the highest delinquency rate, it has been on the fastest downward trend since 2009.

When compared to the same quarter last year, consumer demand for new credit continues to increase, driven mainly by national credit card and auto credit inquiries. The demand for credit in the West has increased for six consecutive quarters, while activity in the eastern provinces continues to slow down.

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