Serious Delinquencies at Record Lows-Canadians Also Taking on Less Debt

Thu Jan 24, 2013 6:30am EST

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

  TORONTO, ONTARIO, Jan 24 (MARKET WIRE) --
Equifax Canada's (NYSE:EFX) 2012 National Credit Trends year-end report
finds that the 90-plus day delinquencies for all non-mortgage credit
products have reached a record low of 1.19 per cent. This rate was as
high as 1.75 per cent during the height of the recent recession.

    "Throughout 2012, we continued to see slower growth in overall credit and
a vast improvement in serious delinquencies, which were at a record low
of 1.19 per cent in Q4," says Nadim Abdo, Vice President, Consulting and
Analytical Services, Equifax Canada. This represents very positive
financial control by consumers and the lending institutions given the
sustained low interest rate environment and stable employment rates
throughout the year," Abdo added. 

    The report also finds that in 2012, Canadians appear to be more
financially sound by controlling their credit growth with the bulk of
that growth coming from existing credit facilities, such as loans and
lines of credit, as opposed to applying for new credit facilities. 

    "For example, consumer appetite for new credit in December 2012 remains
much lower than it was is the pre-recession period, reflecting an 11 per
cent decline from December 2007. The total non-mortgage consumer debt
load increased by a mere 3.2 per cent from last year, which is
significantly lower than observed in previous years," noted Abdo. "The
only credit product which showed growth in average balances above the
national average was for Auto Finance loans and leases, which grew at 7.4
per cent compared to last year." 

    For major city by city data, please go to: http://www.equifax.com/interna
tional/canada/Canadian_Consumer_Credit_Trends_Q4_2012.pdf

    Other 2012 report findings include:


--  Average bank instalment debt grew at a healthy rate of 5 per cent,
    fuelled mostly by Bank Auto loans. 
    
--  Average bank revolving loans and lines of credit remained flat as
    compared to the same period in 2011. 
    
--  Average credit card balances dropped by 3.7 per cent. 


    About Equifax 

    Equifax is a global leader in consumer and commercial information
solutions, providing businesses of all sizes and consumers with
information they can trust. We organize and assimilate data on more than
500 million consumers and 81 million businesses worldwide, and use
advanced analytics and proprietary technology to create and deliver
customized insights that enrich both the performance of businesses and
the lives of consumers. 

    Headquartered in Atlanta, Equifax operates or has investments in 18
countries and is a member of Standard & Poor's (S&P) 500(R) Index. Its
common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the
symbol EFX. For more information, please visit www.equifax.com.

Contacts:
Equifax Canada
Tom Carroll
Media Relations
(416) 227-5290
MediaRelationsCanada@equifax.com
www.equifax.com

For Equifax media inquiries only, please contact:
Hunter LaVigne Communications Inc.
Mark LaVigne, APR, FCPRS
905-841-2017 (office) or 416-884-2018 (cell)
mark.lavigne@hunterlavigne.com

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