Debt delinquency rates climbing in Alberta and Saskatchewan
The fallout from the low price of oil is continuing to have an impact on families in Alberta and Saskatchewan, driving delinquency rates way up, says one credit service.
Equifax Canada says the delinquency rate in Alberta has jumped to 1.4 percent, up by about 40.3 percent a year ago.
Saskatchewan’s delinquency rate also went up and is at 1.2 percent, a gain of about 22.7 percent.
Officials say that while those rates are still relatively low, they do show the impact of the downturn in the oil-producing regions.
As for Calgary's increase, Angela Lock, an insolvency trustee with Grant Thornton, says that it is not surprising to see. "We're seeing a alot of indviduals at our office that are facing financial crisis. For a lot of them, their EI has run out, they're living with family and there's nothing that they can do to get out of the debt and move forward.
"They're all hoping to receive an income from somewhere and they're applying jobs and that sort of thing."
The national rate has also moved up, climbing 4.1 percent to 1.1 percent.
Experts say that the delinquency rates are considerably higher among those aged 18 to 25 as opposed to seniors.
Lock says that that is also a sign of younger Canadians not planning as well for the future as they should. "We're not used to this sort of thing. We're used to jobs being at our feet and being able to walk across the street if we aren't happy and make more money. It's a bit of a planning issue as well."
"For the most part, older Canadians have always demonstrated an ability to handle their spending and what they owe. Millennials should be reminded to practice good budget and money management habits," said Regina Malina senior director of decision insights at Equifax Canada.
According to data compiled by Equifax, the amount Canadians owe increased to $1.66 trillion in the second quarter, up 6.3 per cent compared with a year ago.
The credit monitoring agency said instalment loans, auto loans and mortgage sectors had significant increases of 7.8 percent, 7.6 percent and 7.6 percent year-over-year, respectively.
Excluding mortgages, consumers owed on average $21,878, up 3.4 percent from a year ago.
(With files from The Canadian Press)