Canadian consumers are heading into the biggest shopping season of the year carrying a record $1.51 trillion in debt, according to credit scoring agency Equifax Canada.
However, the agency said it sees no cause for alarm as consumers are still doing a good job of carrying their debt load.
According to Equifax Canada, the most significant increase came in the auto loan and instalment loan sectors at 6.8 per cent and 5.8 per cent year over year, respectively.
The average Canadian debt, excluding mortgages, rose to a little less than $21,000, but despite the increasing numbers, 90+ day delinquency rates continued a downward trend and have reached their lowest level since 2008.
It doesn’t look like the appetite for credit is going anywhere and is, in fact, growing fastest in Western Canada.
Demand for new credit in the west has been up by at least 3.5 per cent over the last six consecutive quarters, while Canadians on the east coast continue to see a decline in demand.
As a country, it’s been rising for five straight quarters.
Now that we’re into the shopping season, it’s a good bet credit cards will continue to get a good workout.