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Canadian consumer debt hits all-time high, reaching $2.32 trillion in Q1 2023: TransUnion

Amid interest rate hikes and high inflation, more Canadians are turning to credit for relief, with consumer debt hitting a new record in the first quarter of 2023.

In a new report released Wednesday by TransUnion, the amount of outstanding debt that Canadians have amassed across all credit products has reached a new record of $2.32 trillion.

The number of Canadians with access to credit increased to 30.6 million, which is up 2.9 per cent from last year. Among existing credit debt, the volume of consumers adding additional credit products increased by 6.2 per cent. TransUnion says this is being driven by Gen Z consumers entering the credit market and new Canadians.

Higher credit balances drove minimum monthly payments higher and put pressure on consumers to use additional disposable income to cover payments in particular mortgages and lines of credit—which are vulnerable to interest rate changes.

The average line of credit monthly payment increased to $436, a 43 per cent increase year over year. While the average monthly mortgage payment rose to $2,032, a 15 per cent increase year over year. …[Continue Reading]