Canada’s total reported consumer debt recently hit an even higher high at $1.621 trillion up from $1.529 trillion a year ago. And a study released today by Equifax Canada finds that Albertans have the highest average debt load in the country with consumer debt delinquencies there jumping 25% in Q4 2015 over Q4 2014. Here is the chart by province at the end of 2015 and delinquencies are rising in 2016.
With the wave of Canadian boomers moving towards retirement and looking to live on savings, low rates that helped them borrow and spend over the past 30 years are now having the opposite effect–suppressing spending and financial strength. Equifax added a warning:
“Debt is often used as a tool for consumers to accomplish their objectives. However, as people get older, their income earning capabilities generally trend downward,” Equifax said in a release. “To increase their financial security, Canadians should develop a plan to pay off their debt within a set timeframe.”
Equifax says interest rates will rise eventually and those relying on the availability of cheap credit will be tremendously vulnerable.