Equifax Canada Reports: Consumer Appetite for Credit Grows as Total Debt Climbs to $1.718 Trillion

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TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - March 15, 2017) - (NYSE:EFX) - Total consumer debt held by Canadians (including mortgages) now stands at $1.718 trillion, an increase of six per cent compared to the final quarter of 2015, according to Equifax Canada's National Consumer Credit Trends Report.

The report also indicates that while the majority of consumers are decreasing their debt (46 per cent), those that are still increasing it (37 per cent) are adding a larger amount on average. On a debt classification basis, auto loans and installment loans are showing significant increases of 7.9 per cent and 7.8 per cent year-over-year, respectively. Another key contributor is the mortgage sector.

"Demand for credit is increasing in Ontario, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia," said Regina Malina, Senior Director of Data & Analytics at Equifax Canada. "It's too early to call it a trend, but there's also a renewed appetite for credit in Western Canada. All four provinces saw increased credit inquiries at the end of 2016."

Debt, meanwhile, is increasing among seniors (+6.1 per cent) and with consumers with better risk scores (+5.1 per cent). The highest risk group did not grow significantly (+0.2 per cent), the lowest increase since Q4 of 2013.

Delinquencies continue to climb in the oil patch provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland. Eastern and Western regions have been leading the way in terms of delinquency after the Western region lost its place as the lowest delinquency region at the end of 2015. Credit card delinquency rates have been increasing all of 2016. By contrast, the auto delinquency rate decreased (-4.9 per cent) for the first time since Q2 of 2012.

Debt (excluding mortgages) & Delinquency Rates

Average Debt
(Q4 2016)
Average Debt Change
Year-over-Year
(Q4 2016 vs. Q4 2015)
Delinquency Rate
(Q4 2016)
Delinquency Rate
Change Year-over-Year
(Q4 2016 vs. Q4 2015)
18-25 $8,470 1.9 % 1.64 % 8.6 %
26-35 $17,091 2.7 % 1.68 % 9.9 %
36-45 $26,663 1.8 % 1.34 % 6.7 %
46-55 $32,654 3.3 % 0.98 % 2.4 %
56-65 $27,892 3.2 % 0.86 % 2.2 %
65+ $15,244 6.1 % 0.93 % -2.7 %
Canada $22,113 3.1 % 1.14 % 4.6 %

Major City Analysis - Debt (excluding mortgages) & Delinquency Rates

Average Debt
(Q4 2016)
Average Debt Change
Year-over-Year
(Q4 2016 vs. Q4 2015)
Delinquency Rate
(Q4 2016)
Delinquency Rate
Change Year-over-Year
(Q4 2016 vs. Q4 2015)
Calgary $28,927 1.8 % 1.26 % 28.8 %
Edmonton $26,923 1.7 % 1.52 % 33.5 %
Halifax $23,680 2.2 % 1.50 % 4.6 %
Montreal $17,124 2.5 % 1.27 % -1.1 %
Ottawa $21,542 3.1 % 0.99 % 1.6 %
Toronto $20,857 4.7 % 1.24 % -2.6 %
Vancouver $24,487 4.6 % 0.77 % -10.9 %
St. John's $25,143 3.0 % 1.34 % 22.3 %
Fort McMurray $37,739 2.0 % 1.62 % 23.0 %

Province Analysis - Debt (excluding mortgages) & Delinquency Rates

Average Debt
(Q4 2016)
Average Debt Change
Year-over-Year
(Q4 2016 vs. Q4 2015)
Delinquency Rate
(Q4 2016)
Delinquency Rate Change Year-over-Year
(Q4 2016 vs. Q4 2015)
Ontario $21,948 4.2 % 1.03 % -3.8 %
Quebec $18,618 3.0 % 1.02 % -2.5 %
Nova Scotia $22,353 3.0 % 1.74 % 8.5 %
New Brunswick $22,924 3.7 % 1.71 % 3.8 %
PEI $22,184 3.3 % 1.43 % 0.3 %
Newfoundland $23,523 3.3 % 1.43 % 25.7 %
Eastern Region $22,780 3.3 % 1.64 % 9.4 %
Alberta $27,989 1.5 % 1.49 % 31.1 %
Manitoba $18,421 2.8 % 1.28 % 16.6 %
Saskatchewan $24,566 2.6 % 1.35 % 27.5 %
British Columbia $23,448 1.8 % 0.95 % -3.4 %
Western Region $24,675 1.8 % 1.23 % 16.2 %
Canada $22,113 3.1 % 1.14 % 4.6 %

Data for this 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.

About Equifax

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 6,600 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 9,400 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



Andrew Findlater
SELECT Public Relations
afindlater@selectpr.ca
(416) 659-1197

Tom Carroll
Media Relations
Equifax Canada
MediaRelationsCanada@equifax.com
(416) 227-5290