Equifax report shows Millennials struggle with debt

By: Justin Leung on August 23, 2016

Canada continues to struggle hard with debt. Living expenses continue to get higher, wages are stagnant, and people get stuck in a cycle of borrowing and paying.

Nowhere is this harsh reality more apparent than within Canada’s youngest generation of adults: the Millennials. According to Huffington Post a new report by Equifax shows that debt delinquencies are on the rise among Canadians aged 18 to 35. The report splits the generation into two age groups. In the second quarter of 2016 debt delinquencies rose 11.7% among 18 to 25 year olds and 9.7% among 26 to 36 year olds compared to the previous year.

The slow economy and tough job market for young professionals makes it hard to manage debt repayment, especially after graduating university or college. However, for those in school, it’s never too late to learn how students can manage their money and graduate with little to no debt.

Overall non-mortgage debt is up 3.4% and debt delinquencies are up 4.1%. While millennials are struggling to pay their debt, seniors are taking on more debt, but managing it well. Debt among those 65 and older jumped 8.2% compared to last year, but they were also the only age group with that had their delinquency rate decrease.

Nationally, Alberta and Saskatchewan showed how the oil downturn has impacted residents’ ability to pay off debts with delinquencies up 40.3% in Alberta and 22.7% in Saskatchewan. Despite the massive increase in percentage, delinquency was still relatively low with those regions still maintaining delinquency rates under 2%.

The amount of total debt for Canadians increased 6.3% from a year ago to $1.66 trillion. Excluding mortgages, the average Canadian owed $21,878.

If you’re in debt, take the first steps to regaining control of your finances with these tips and remember that saving money where it matters can go a long way to helping you afford to pay off debts early.