At the same time, the credit reporting agency said consumer credit card debt is at a six-year low, as reduced spending led to healthier habits around daily spending.
The company said consumer debt now stands at $2.08 trillion for the first quarter of 2021, up 0.62 per cent from last quarter and up 4.78 per cent from the first quarter of 2020.
It said the rise in debt was largely driven by mortgages, with the number of new mortgages up 41.2 per cent from a year ago.
Rebecca Oakes, assistant vice-president of advanced analytics at Equifax, said the largest increases in consumer debt were in British Columbia and Ontario, which is a direct result of the hot housing markets in those provinces.
She said delinquencies were still happening at a much lower rate than pre-pandemic, as consumers continue to benefit from government financial support during the pandemic. But Oakes warned people need to prepare for those supports to subside to ensure their financial health.
© 2021 The Canadian Press