Canadian Consumer Debt Tops $2 Trillion

Consumer debt in Canada has now surpassed $2 trillion.

Driven by increased home mortgages and car loans, Canadian consumer debt rose 3.8% to $2.041 trillion in the third quarter of 2020 compared to the same period last year, according to Equifax Canada.

Mortgage balances rose 6.6% year-over-year, while new car loans increased 11.7% compared to the same period of 2019. Meanwhile, average credit card spending returned close to pre-pandemic levels, according to Equifax Canada.

While the 90-day delinquency rate for non-mortgage debt fell to 0.98%, the lowest level since 2014, Equifax noted some troubling signs.

?"The low delinquency rates we’re currently seeing are likely being masked by deferral programs," said Equifax in a news release, adding that deferral programs saw uptake from over three million consumers since the start of the pandemic.

According to Equifax, 12% of new credit products in the third quarter were opened by consumers who took advantage of a deferral payment program.