More people skipping out on credit card bills in oil-producing regions


OTTAWA – Delinquency rates for consumer debt climbed higher in the major oil-producing provinces in the fourth quarter of last year but the national average held steady compared with the same period of 2014, Equifax Canada says.

The credit monitoring agency said the national delinquency rate excluding mortgages was unchanged at 1.09 per cent.

Equifax noted that rates in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador trended higher.

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The agency says the delinquency rate increased to 1.13 per cent in Alberta, to 1.06 per cent in Saskatchewan and to 1.14 per cent in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Compared with a year earlier, Alberta’s rate was up 25.1 per cent, Saskatchewan’s rose 14 per cent and Newfoundland and Labrador’s was up 11.8 per cent.

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Equifax said total reported consumer debt stood at $1.621 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2015, up from $1.529 trillion in the final quarter of 2014.

The average consumer non-mortgage debt was $21,458 in the final quarter of last year, up from $20,967 a year ago.

<em>Here’s a look at average debt levels excluding mortgages by province (credit cards, lines of credit, student and auto loans, third quarter, 2015):</em>

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