Average Canadian family debt has hit $100,000 and about 17,400 households were behind in their mortgage payments in fall 2010, an increase of nearly 50 per cent since the recession began, according to the Vanier Institute of the Family. Credit card delinquency and bankruptcy levels were also higher than in pre-recessionary times.
“Even though standard economic indicators tell us the recession is technically over, the confidence Canadian families have in their economic and financial situation is shaky,” said Katherine Scott, the Institute’s director of programs. “As government at all levels craft their budgets for the coming year and look at cutting programs to reduce their deficits, they need to be mindful that the state of Canadian family finances continues to be fragile in many households.”
Vanier’s 12th annual report also notes debt-to-income ratio is at a record 150 per cent, meaning Canadian families owe $1,500 for every $1,000 earned in after-tax income. In 1990, average family debt was $56,800 with a debt-to-income ratio of 93 per cent. This equates to an increase of 78 per cent over the past 20 years.