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

VIDEO: Find Me My Furever Home – Blue at the Chilliwack SPCA

‘He’s a very laid back, easy-going guy, but still very active,’ says SPCA branch manager

Chilliwack hospice hosts candlelight walk for those who have lost loved ones during pandemic

People invited to ‘celebrate the life of your loved one’ at Illumination Walk

Garage sale happening now at Atchelitz Threshermen’s Association in Chilliwack

Due to COVID-19, the event is one of the association’s only sources of income for the year

UPDATE: Traffic moving again after rollover on Highway 1 in Chilliwack

This is the second collision in four days in the same area of the highway in the ess curves

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

VIDEO: COVID won’t dampen Lower Mainland woman’s Halloween spirit

Langley’s Tanya Reid posted video offering suggestions of how trick-or-treating might look for her

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

2 British Columbians arrested, 3 at large in massive Alberta drug bust

Eight people are facing 33 charges in what police have dubbed Project Incumbent

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

Father hopes journey to aviation-safety program inspires hope

Former South Surrey resident Greg Sewell hasn’t given up on quest to mandate older-plane retrofits

Most Read