Delinquency rates up in oil-producing provinces, steady nationally
The number of credit cards you have doesn't affect your credit score
Craig Wong, The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, March 10, 2016 11:08AM EST
Last Updated Thursday, March 10, 2016 12:06PM EST
OTTAWA -- Delinquency rates for consumer debt increased in the major oil-producing provinces in the fourth quarter of last year but the national average held steady compared with the same period of 2014, Equifax Canada says.
The consumer credit monitoring agency said Thursday that the national delinquency rate, excluding mortgages, was unchanged at 1.09 per cent.
Equifax noted that rates in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador trended higher.
The agency says the delinquency rate increased to 1.13 per cent in Alberta, to 1.06 per cent in Saskatchewan and to 1.14 per cent in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Compared with a year earlier, Alberta's rate was up 25.1 per cent, Saskatchewan's rose 14 per cent and Newfoundland and Labrador's was up 11.8 per cent.
However, Regina Malina, senior director of decision insights at Equifax Canada, said the delinquency rates in the oil-producing provinces were still relatively low.
"Despite the ups and downs of today's economy we're seeing that Canadians are generally able to manage debt and rein in spending when they have to," she said.
"Most people are still finding a way to pay back what they owe."
The report came a day ahead of a report by Statistics Canada on household debt for the fourth quarter of last year.
Low interest rates have made it easier for Canadians to borrow more and keep up with their debts, although household debt has been identified as a key risk to the Canadian economy.
Equifax said Thursday that total reported consumer debt stood at $1.621 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2015, up from $1.529 trillion in the final quarter of 2014, as auto and instalment loans grew.
The majority of debt is in the form of mortgage debt, which amounted to $1.075 trillion in the fourth quarter
The average consumer non-mortgage debt was $21,458 in the final quarter of last year, up from $20,967 a year ago.