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Feb 22, 2011 – | | | Toronto |

Family DebtsThe average family debt-to-income ratio in Canada has now hit a record 150 per cent; the Vanier Institute of the Family said .That means for every $1,000 in after-tax income, Canadian families owe $1,500, the institute said, while releasing its 12th annual assessment of Canadian family finances.

The figure includes mortgages, student loans, credit card debts and lines of credit.
Canada’s debt-to-income ratio is now about even with that of the United States — a finding Scott said may come as a surprise.

Average credit-card debt fell to C$3,688 in the fourth quarter.

Lines of credit, which represent 42% of all household debt in Canada, rose 8.8% in the fourth quarter, TransUnion reported.

It found the average family borrowing — including mortgage debt — now totals $100,000.

Family Debts

Mortgage delinquencies up 50% in Canada.

It also found that the number of households which have fallen behind in their mortgage payments by three or more months climbed to 17,400 in the fall of 2010, up nearly 50% since the 2008 recession began. And credit card delinquency and bankruptcy rates also remained higher than pre-recessionary levels.

The report warned that the unemployment rate might rise as workers who dropped out of the labor market attempt to jump back in, and as those who are working part-time hours — over 900,000 workers — seek full-time work.

In particular, it said, families with younger members preparing to enter the workforce face tremendous pressure. Only five per cent of the new jobs created since mid-2009 went to the 15-24 age group.

The average mortgage in 2010 was $171,500. Mortgage debt averaged for all households, including those without mortgages, is $63,126.

At the same time, the report said, the savings rate has slid. In 1990, Canadian families managed to put away $8,000, a savings rate of 13.0 per cent. In 2010, the savings rate fell to 4.2 per cent, averaging $2,500 per household.

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