Consumer debt swells to $1.4 trillion, but Canadians able to pay: Equifax

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TORONTO - Credit monitoring agency Equifax Canada says the love affair Canadians have with debt is still going strong.

But despite the higher debt, a study by Equifax indicates that most people have a good handle on managing their bills.

Equifax says its figures show that consumer debt, excluding mortgages, totalled $518.3 billion at the end of November 2013, up 4.2 per cent from $497.4 billion a year earlier.

Despite the increase in debt, however, the overall delinquency rate — bills due past 90 days — declined to a record low of 1.12 per cent compared with 1.19 per cent in the same 2012 period.

Meanwhile, overall consumer debt, including mortgages, also continues to rise. In the fourth quarter, Canadians owed $1.422 trillion when mortgages were taken into consideration, up 9.1 per cent from $1.303 trillion a year earlier.

Equifax's Regina Malina says the data shows that Canadians are willing to take on more debt — from car loans to credit card purchases — but are also aware that they need to be able to pay it back.

Organizations: Equifax

Geographic location: TORONTO

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