Halton residents are carrying the most non-mortgage consumer debt among all Ontarians.
According to a recent report from Borrowell, the average Ontarian is carrying $27,523 in consumer debt–$10,770 in revolving debt, which is debt associated with credit cards and lines of credit, and $16,753 in installment debt, which is debt associated with loans, such as personal or auto.
In Oakville, the average resident is carrying $48,410, the most in all of Ontario, while Milton and Burlington residents are carrying an average of $36,769 and $36,665 respectively, the fourth- and fifth-most in Ontario.
Additionally, Oakville was one of just three cities in Ontario that saw the average consumer debt increase this past year.
Over the past year, consumer debt in Ontario decreased slightly—the average debt for Ontarians is down three per cent compared to the year before.
Further, while average installment debt has remained relatively unchanged—it decreased just one per cent over the last 12 months—revolving debt has decreased by seven per cent this past year.
In Oakville, consumer debt increased two per cent over the past year, while consumer debt in Milton decreased five per cent and consumer debt in Burlington was unchanged.
Revolving debt decreased in all three Halton cities—in Oakville, it decreased by four per cent to $24,490, while in Milton, it decreased by nine per cent to $16,146, and in Burlington, it decreased by six per cent to $17,338.
However, installment debt increased for Oakville and Burlington, while Milton was remained nearly the same—Oakville’s installment debt rose nine per cent to $23,920, while Burlington’s rose six per cent to $19,327, and Milton’s dropped one per cent to $20,623.
However, while debt has decreased over the last few months, many experts expect it to rise shortly, as restrictions associated with the pandemic begin to ease.
With many businesses moving to a work-from-home model, costs associated with commuting, such as gas and transit fees, have declined.
Moreover, with restrictions prohibiting many activities, such as dining out at restaurants, attending events—such as sporting competitions and concerts—and shopping for non-essential items, discretionary spending has also decreased.
“We’ve seen positive consumer debt trends over the past year, but the next few months could mark a significant shift,” Andrew Graham, co-founder and CEO of Borrowell, said in the report.
“Loan deferral programs have already begun wrapping up, and people are eager to get out and socialize once again. The financial habits that consumers developed over the past year will almost certainly change as more opportunities become available to socialize and spend this summer. We could see an increase in consumer debt over the next few months,” he continued.