Taking on more credit card debt has not been the pandemic plan for many Canadians, data from TransUnion Canada suggested on Tuesday. Credit cards are displayed in Montreal, Wednesday, December 12, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

Canadians taking steps to avoid credit card debt, despite economic pressure

People are opting to dip into savings or retirement funds rather than relying on credit cards

TransUnion Canada says data show Canadians have not taken on additional credit card debt during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The credit reporting agency says in a quarterly report that credit card balances fell 12.3 per cent in the second quarter compared with the same period a year ago.

TransUnion’s Matt Fabian says reduced opportunities for spending during the lockdown may have contributed to the drop, but he also noted that people are opting to dip into savings or retirement funds rather than relying on credit cards.

Applications for new credit also grew at a slower-than-usual pace, amid reduced access to branches during the lockdown, uncertainty around employment and a pullback on new offers from lenders.

But TransUnion says mortgage debt is on the rise, with new mortgages, renewals and refinances up 29 per cent from a year ago and a 5.3 per cent annual increase in the total volume of mortgage debt.

Despite a 4.3 per cent rise in total outstanding debt in Canada, which stood at $1.9 trillion in the second quarter, Fabian says delinquencies have risen less than expected, as about 2.6 million Canadians, or 9.2 per cent of credit consumers, have at least one active deferral.

TransUnion uses the credit bureaus’ national consumer credit database as source material for its quarterly report.

The Canadian Press

CoronavirusDebtFinance

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Single-engine aircraft crashes near Telkwa

Two occupants of the plane sustained minor injuries and were transported to hospital

Cullen announces bid for provincial NDP nomination for Stikine riding

Current MLA Donaldson not seeking re-election

Anne Marie Sam seeks NDP nomination for Nechako Lakes riding

She also ran in 2017 but was defeated by BC Liberal John Rustad

Reserve a gym spot online with the Houston Leisure Facility

The online system is another step to make things easy during the pandemic

Bulk water, sewage project gets council’s approval

Facility to service large-scale users

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

70-year-old punched in the head in dispute over disability parking space in Nanaimo

Senior’s turban knocked off in incident at mall parking lot

Thousands of child care spaces coming to 35 B.C. communities

Province announces milestone in Childcare BC plan

Most Read