Debt Delinquencies Rise In Canada in Q1

The number of Canadians failing to make their debt payments is rising, according to a new report from Equifax Canada.

Delinquency rates in Canada continued to rise in the first quarter of 2019 as consumers piled on more debt, according to Equifax. The report revealed that the national 90-day non-mortgage delinquency rate rose 3.5% to 1.12% in the first quarter of this year.

Senior citizens saw the largest increase, with the delinquency rate for Canadians over age 65 rising 9.4% year-over-year. The report also revealed that the average debt per Canadian consumer – including mortgages – totaled $71,300 in the first quarter of the year, marking a 2.6% increase compared to the same period in 2018.

Among Canadian provinces, Alberta had the highest average debt level in the first quarter at $29,117, excluding mortgages. Meanwhile, Manitobans had the lowest average debt at $18,815 per person.

Equifax also highlighted the slowing mortgage market as a result of increased regulations imposed by the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) last year. New rules impose a stress test for uninsured mortgages where the borrower makes a down payment of 20% on the purchase of a home. The Equifax report said the value of new mortgages in Canada was down 12% year-over-year in the first half of 2019.