Hamilton residents are carrying the least 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 Hamilton, the average resident is carrying just $19,932 in debt—$7,519 in revolving debt, and $12,413 in installment debt.
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.
Additionally, 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 Hamilton, the average overall consumer debt decreased by two per cent—the average revolving debt was down six per cent, while the average installment debt increased by just one per cent.
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.
Further, 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.