By Lola Augustine Brown
Few of us dream of sailing off into retirement mired in debt. Unfortunately, non-mortgage related debt is a fact of life for many over the age of 65, and the amount of debt that they’re carrying has grown significantly in the past year.
The average amount of debt held by those over 65 is $15,244, according to a report by the consumer credit reporting agency Equifax. That’s not bad compared to the Canadian average of $22,113, but seniors have seen the biggest percentage growth in their debt in the past 12 months. Equifax reports that those 65-plus owe on average 6.1% more than they did a year ago—the Canadian average increase was 3.1%.
The good news for older Canadians was that they were the only group to see the rate of delinquency drop—down 2.7%—while the delinquency rate among those 26–35, who owe an average of $17,091, rose an alarming 9.9%.