This consumer debt could cause issues in 2018

The performance of Canadian consumers’ debt has remained high but there is a concern ahead for 2018.

A report from TransUnion Canada says that delinquency rates should stay relatively stable for the year ahead but consumers may start to default on credit card payments.

“Though Canadians should continue to perform quite well in 2018, it is not unexpected that credit cards are forecast to see the largest rise in delinquency levels next year,” said Matt Fabian, director of research and industry analysis for TransUnion Canada. “The expectations for overall interest rate increases and a tempering of the Canadian economy in 2018 may play a role in forecasted higher card delinquencies.

The level of serious delinquencies for credit cards was 3.19% for the third quarter of 2017 and is expected to drop to 3.02% for the fourth quarter. However, by this time next year TransUnion Canada is projecting a 3.63% rate.

For mortgages, the report calls for a stable 0.56% serious delinquency rate in the fourth quarter of 2017, the same as Q3; and a slight drop to 0.55% by Q4 2017.

Non-mortgage debt is expected to rise less than 1% in 2018 to $22,440 in Q4 2018 from $22,249 (projected) in Q4 2017.

Mortgage balances are expected to fall slightly to $239,056 (average) compared to $240,029 (projected) over the next year.

“Mortgages are the outlier in this instance, but some of this is due to the fact that recent steep increases in home prices also may take a pause,” said Fabian.

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