How much credit card debt does the average Canadian have?30 January, 2023 4:27 PM
As the country re-opens after COVID-related restrictions, Canadians are faced with a worrying financial picture. Many have moved, others are looking to travel, and the cost of living is ballooning with unusual rates of inflation. Meanwhile, the Bank of Canada (BoC) rate hikes designed to curb these forces are adding pressure to those with variable-rate loans and mortgages. Unsurprisingly, many Canadians are using their credit cards to charge their expenses.
How much debt does the average Canadian carry?
The average monthly credit card spend for Canadians was almost $2,447 in the third quarter of 2022, up by 17.3% compared to the same time in 2021 and up 21.8% in 2019, according to Equifax. And from another report from the Canadian credit bureau, Canadian consumer debt has risen to $2.32 trillion, with an average debt load of approximately $21,183—excluding mortgages. These numbers represent an increase of 8.2% over last year, and 6.4% between the first and second quarters of 2022. And Canadians are using credit cards more, as there was a 6.4% increase in credit balances from the first quarter to the second.
This news, though unwelcome, is not unexpected according to some experts. Anne Arbour is the director of strategic partnerships at the Credit Counselling Society, an accredited non-profit charity that helps Canadians solve their money problems.