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Credit Card Use Among Canadians Rises 21.5%

Canadian consumers are spending 21.5% more each month on their credit cards compared with pre-pandemic levels, according to new data from Equifax Canada.

Additionally, missed payments on non-mortgage debts rose during the first quarter of the year, with 175,000 more consumers missing payments on at least one credit product, up 18.8% from a year earlier.

Equifax Canada said higher cost of living and an influx of immigrants who are taking out credit drove balances on credit cards 14.5% higher in Q1 of this year from the same period of 2022.

Delinquency rates on credit cards and other loans rose by the most in British Columbia and Ontario during Q1, said the credit bureau.

At the same time, new mortgage originations declined 42% in Q1 compared with a year earlier, representing the lowest volume since 2014.

Additionally, the average mortgage amount was down 13.9% year-over-year in the quarter.

Canada’s housing market has slowed as interest rates charged on mortgages have topped 6% in the past 12 months.