Average Vancouverite is $24,675 in debt, says TransUnion

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Residents of Vancouver are struggling to pay off their debts, and owe almost exactly the same as they did this time last year, according to a new report by TransUnion.

In its latest Canada Industry Insights Report, the credit monitoring company examined almost every active credit file in its national database.

Looking at this quarter, TransUnion found the average Vancouverite owes $24,675 outside of mortgage debt, down only 0.01% from this time last year.

And while those of us in Vancouver may be struggling to get out of debt, it seems the rest of B.C. is faring only slightly better, with debt levels down by only 0.05% to $23,071.

Subprime borrowers in more debt

Overall, the report found, Canadians’ non-mortgage debt levels are up almost 3% this year, worryingly driven by subprime borrowers – those with credit scores of 599 or lower.

For those borrowers – the same kind which brought the U.S. economy to its knees in 2008 – average credit card debt alone increased year-on-year by a huge 5.7% to $6,601.

By comparison, year-on-year credit card borrowing by prime consumers – those with a good credit score of 700 to 779 – was down 4.7% to $5,847.

Nevertheless, it seems overall Canadian credit card delinquency rates rose by a massive 14.08% in the first quarter compared to the same time last year, to 2.06%.

But never fear, TransUnion says those are actually “normal” levels, last seen in 2014.

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Jenni Sheppard Staff writer at Vancity Buzz. Happy Vancouverite. Traveller, snowboarder, film fan, feminist, geek, curler.
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