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

Just Posted

Sandstone project could transform southern face of Nanaimo

Seacliff Properties touting 3,000 homes, new commercial and industrial districts

New report finds ‘chronic’ shortage of daycare spaces across Greater Victoria

52 per cent of demand met in the best for six surveyed communities

‘Each step is a prayer’: Ojibwe man walking from Hope to Saanich for healing, reconciliation

‘Kind Lightning’ James Taylor departed Sunday for five days journey

Out on a Limb: What I learned from living through a pandemic

Awesome, I thought, when the pandemic hit, I’ll learn some new skills.

Masks and temperature checks now mandatory to enter Nanaimo’s Woodgrove Centre

Mall says it’s the first in B.C. to put these kind of measures in place

COVID-19: 4 more deaths, 366 new cases in B.C. since Friday

A total of 8,208 people in B.C. have tested positive for COVID-19 since January

Paper towel in short supply as people stay home, clean more, industry leader says

While toilet paper consumption has returned to normal levels, paper towel sales continue to outpace pre-COVID levels

COVID-19: New air carrier sought for Qualicum Beach Airport

Island Express Air ends operation due to pandemic

Purebred breeders go for a walk in Nanaimo to show off their dogs

Purebred dog breeders sometimes get a bad rap, says event organizer

Victoria man to run marathon after overcoming rare cancer diagnosis

Nigel Deacon was diagnosed with ocular melanoma in 2010

Authors nominated for Victoria Book Prize awards

Finalists for 2020 announced in two categories

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Group wants Parliament, courts to hold social media to same standard as publishers

Daniel Bernhard made the comments shortly after Friends of Canadian Broadcasting released a research paper

B.C. ELECTION: Comox Valley ridings short on voter options as snap election called

Courtenay-Comox riding has two candidates; Mid Island-Pacific Rim only has one

Most Read