TransUnion to brokers: consumers in tough

TransUnion to brokers: consumers in tough

Consumer debt levels have now reached their highest level in ten years, according to a new report from a credit reporting agency.

“We are in a unique situation because while it is somewhat disconcerting to see average consumer total debt reach its highest level since we’ve been tracking this variable, Canadian consumers appear to be able to manage this debt as delinquency levels have dropped across all of the major credit vehicles,” said Thomas Higgins, VP of analytics for TransUnion. “It’s quite possible that this is a trend that will continue as consumers take advantage of the low interest environment.”

The agency’s latest report of Canadian debt trends found the non-mortgage debt load rose to $26,221 in the second quarter -- 0.74 per cent from the previous three months and a whopping 2.41 per cent from a year ago.

A big driver of that debt spike were auto loans, even as the average credit-card debt fell.

TransUnion calls the Q2 reading the highest individual debt load since it began tracking the variable in 2004.

While delinquency or default levels remained low across the board, the report suggests that brokers will continue to grapple with a slowing real estate market.