OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says households paid down a record amount of non-mortgage debt in the first year of the pandemic as mortgage debt climbed by even more.
The agency says from the onset of the pandemic to January 2021 that non-mortgage debt fell by $20.6 billion, including a $16.6-billion drop in credit card debt.
The decrease came as mortgage debt rose by a record $99.6 billion over the same period.
Statistics Canada says households were carrying about $2.5 trillion in outstanding debt one year into the pandemic, approximately two-thirds of which was mortgage debt.
The outstanding balance carried on credit cards fell to $74 billion in January 2021 from $90.6 billion just prior to the pandemic in February 2020.
The agency says in the two decades prior to the pandemic, the outstanding balance carried on credit cards had risen on average by 20.7 per cent per year.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 23, 2021