Canadian debt, why don’t we talk about it more?

You always hear about our neighbour down south, but we have our own problems too.

I always hear about how screwed the US is when it comes to debt, but like seemingly all Canadian media, we keep getting left behind. I mean to be fair it is really scary how much student debt there is in the states, so it makes sense that it makes more headlines, but we can’t be forgotten. As a Canadian company, we need to look out for those back home as well.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been rough for everyone, there is no secret there, but it has overextended finances more than some may realize. With lockdowns shutting down businesses and stopping students from working, the impact on the economy is still looming overhead with an unclear future.  Sure if you were lucky you could get a little help but that rarely covered a household in some cases. But, debt saw an enormous influx of a 4.78% increase from the year prior with a consumer debt load of 2.08 trillion dollars in the first quarter of 202. This shocking statistic is one of a few in the current debt crisis.

On a more personal note, the average Canadian holds $23,035 in consumer debt and an additional $50,497 in mortgage debt. The numbers keep rising as well, Equifax Canada has continued to project an upward trend over the past few years, making this just the tip of our inevitable iceberg… and we are the Titanic.  Not to mention what is happening to the future of the country, students.

While there is a group of students who were able to use the pandemic as a time for frugality, with some taking advantage of the cut cost of living. No longer having to commute or being able to spend all their money on nights out drinking, some were able to make the most of a bad situation.  On average, including college through to graduate school, roughly 50% of the Canadian student body was in debt for their education. The number rose exponentially to 70%-90% when attending professional school. The average student debt in Canada prior to the pandemic was $17, 500 for students in college to graduate school, and this number rose to $40, 000 -$60, 000 for those in professional school.  These are all shocking numbers, some that are hard to fathom at times.

Taken everything previously stated, on average a Canadian will have $91,032 in potential debt throughout their lifetime and that is just an average. It could easily increase, as Equifax Canada and Statistics Canada show potential trending towards an increased debt load.  It‘s scary out there, more needs to be done to provide resources for debt destruction and help alleviate the pressure.