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June 01, 2021

Avg. Canadian personal debt rises to $25,597: report

Debt for Canadians is a cruel inevitably. Like, our nation bitching about too-long winters, then crying when summer gets here and it’s too hot.

1157866_economy_crisis_2 Even in the bygone generation that held “good financial sense,” the ones that frowned on credit cards and said if you can’t afford it, you shouldn’t get it, mortgage debt was an acceptable level of obligation.

Now? Consumer patterns have changed, surely, and according to the latest figures, Canadian debt continues to rise. How does your level measure up?

By numbers from a new TransUnion Canada study, average Canadian consumer debt, mortgages excluded, rose to $25,597 over the past year, a jump of 4.5 per cent or $1,100.

At first, this number seems astronomical. Twenty-five grand without  considering mortgage obligations? Something seems off.

But the TransUnion numbers tell the whole story, every dollar accounted for.

Canadian consumer debt is broken up into the usual categories; auto financing, for instance, encompasses about 63 per cent ($16,181) of financial obligation while credit card borrowing makes up nearly 14 per cent ($3,539) of total debt. Lines of credit account for the remaining debt for Canadian consumers.

There is good news in TransUnion’s report, however. In a sign that the downturn may have given us the kick in the rear we needed, credit card debt declined for the second-straight quarter leading up to TransUnion’s study.

Compared to the end of 2010, Canadians have about $120 less credit card debt now, though credit card delinquencies – the ratio of credit card accounts 90 days or more delinquent – are up to start 2011.

Where does your debt level stand now? Do you have more or less debt than you did during the recession, mortgage obligations notwithstanding?

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money

*Follow Jason on Twitter here.



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...