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

United Way celebrates seven decades of impact in Southern Interior

Organization sees issues with poverty, mental health and addictions, heighten during the pandemic

Two new COVID-19 cases reported in Interior Health

The total number of Interior Health cases since the beginning of the pandemic is now at 522

Hedley man advertises bounty on rats

One rat tail will net five dollars

Ninety-seven distressed animals seized from rural Princeton property

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

Morning Start: There is a Hot Pink Lake in Australia

Your morning start for Friday, Sept. 25, 2020

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

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

Kelowna man injured during arrest sues RCMP

Supreme Court civil claim alleges Dustin Blondin was the victim of an ‘unprovoked attack’

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

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Parks Canada not responsible for Mount Kobau blockade

Nearby residents have been vocal about plans to turn the area into a national park

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Liberals reach deal with NDP on COVID-19 aid bill, likely averting election

NDP and the Liberals have reached an agreement on COVID-19 sick-leave

Money laundering inquiry delayed over of B.C. election: commissioner

Austin Cullen says the hearings will start again on Oct. 26

Most Read