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Canadian personal debt levels soaring

Nov. 14, 2012 at 4:30 PM

TORONTO, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- The debt load of Canadian consumers excluding mortgages has soared 400 percent in the past five years, the TransUnion credit reporting agency said Wednesday.

In a release from Toronto, company Vice President of Analytics Thomas Higgins said a year ago, consumers seemed to be heeding Bank of Canada and other economists' advice to rein in personal debt.

"One year later, it appears we have reversed course as consumer total debt has increased for three straight quarters, including the largest jump in nearly two years this past quarter," he said. "While delinquency levels remain about the same or lower than they were one year ago, it should be noted that in the past five years debt levels have now increased 400 percent more than the rate of inflation."

While such debts as credit cards and personal lines of credit declined marginally on an annual basis, installment loans increased 2.28 percent and automobile debt was up 11.25 percent year over year, the company said.

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