Piling on debt - MoneySense

Piling on debt

Canadian consumer debt topped $500 billion in March with auto loans fueling the increase. This and more in Wednesday’s roundup.

  • Canadians continue to pile on consumer debt but for the most part are managing to keep their heads above water, according to Equifax’s latest report. Year-to-date indebtedness (excluding mortgages) grew 3.9% to $500.8 billion in March. The biggest gains were in lines of credit and auto loans, while credit card balances remained flat. Serious debt defaults however fell more than 13% in that same period to all-time lows. “Late-stage delinquency rates continue to show improvement, especially in the energy-rich economies of Edmonton and Calgary as well as in Vancouver and Ottawa,” Moody’s Cristian deRitis said in a release Wednesday.“However, rising bankruptcy filings across the country reflect the growing financial strain on Canadian families, particularly in Montreal and Halifax. The largest single threat to consumer balance sheets remains property values. With outstanding mortgage balances continuing to grow at a 5% annual rate, households as well as lenders remain vulnerable to a sudden change in the trajectory of home value.”
  • Thinking of selling a condo and worried about the CRA’s so-called “Condo Project” will mean less money in your pocket? Here are some tips, from Preet Banerjee.