Credit performance in most Canadian provinces was strong in the first quarter of 2017 a report from TransUnion reveals.
Non-mortgage debt was up almost 2 per cent compared to a year earlier to an average $21,696 but the 90-day delinquency rate was down nearly 1.5 per cent to 2.72 per cent.
Toronto (down 7.55 per cent), Montreal (down 2.51 per cent) and Ottawa (down 2.37 per cent) saw notably strong decreases in delinquencies but most major cities also posted lower rates.
Alberta (up 5.33 per cent) and Saskatchewan (up 3.44 per cent) bucked the trend with rising delinquencies of non-mortgage credit.
“More consumers are gaining access to credit, and credit limits have been increasing at a strong rate during the last two years. At the same time, serious delinquency rates have remained relatively low,” commented Matthew Fabian, Director, Research and Consulting, TransUnion Canada.
There has been a rise in subprime borrowers accessing credit, with those obtaining credit cards up almost 14 per cent in the year to Q1 2017. However, the serious delinquency rate for subprime borrowers was down 9.4 per cent.
“While delinquency rates for subprime borrowers generally are much higher than other risk groups, it’s a positive sign to see delinquencies decline even as more consumers in this risk group gain access to credit,” said Fabian.