Q4 2023 Credit Industry Insights 

Canadian Consumer Credit Market Reaches a New High, Driven by Credit Demand from New-to-Credit Canada Consumers


Q4 2023 Report highlights include:

  • Consumer credit-active population growth is primarily driven by New-to-Credit consumers, with those being New-to-Canada driving the trend.
  • Canada’s credit market reached a new high, in terms of outstanding balances.
  • Rising delinquencies, observed for three consecutive quarters, are prompting lenders to tighten underwriting standards.

Against a macroeconomic backdrop of persistently elevated inflation and high interest rates, more Canadians are engaging in the credit marketplace, leading to a steady growth in credit participation. The number of consumers holding at least one active credit product grew by 3.6% year-over-year (YoY) in the fourth quarter of 2023 to an unprecedented 31.5 million, with approximately 96% of Canada’s credit-eligible population – consumers aged 18 and older – having access to at least one traditional credit product. At the same time, New-to-Credit Canadians represented $1 billion growth in balances over the past year.


90+ Day Delinquency Rate YoY Changes for All Product Loans


Average Consumer Balance, by Product*


*Represents the average balance held by a consumer across each type of product (consumers can have multiple instances of same product).

Headshot of Matt Fabian

 “As the New-to-Canada population continues to grow, banks should continue to focus on engaging these consumers and addressing their specific credit needs not only at acquisition, but throughout their lifecycle,” said Matthew Fabian, director of financial services research and consulting at TransUnion Canada. “This segment represents a large opportunity to build longer and deeper relationships as their credit wallets are likely to expand as they make Canada their new home.”

- Matthew Fabian, Director, Research and Industry Insights for Canada at TransUnion

About the TransUnion CIIR Report

TransUnion Canada’s quarterly Credit Industry Insights Report provides in-depth, statistical information drawn from its national consumer credit database (of more than 30 million files profiling nearly every credit-active consumer in Canada). It summarizes data and trends for the national population overall, as well as breakdowns within consumer credit score risk tiers, and provides insights on the Canadian consumer lending industry. By leveraging the Industry Insights Report, institutions across industries can analyze market dynamics throughout an entire business cycle, helping understand consumer behaviour over time. It provides account-level and consumer-level views of key metrics and trends — over the nine most recent quarters — and considers major consumer lending categories: credit cards, personal loans, auto loans, home loans, and lines of credit while also looking at aggregate views of all revolving lines of credit and non-revolving loans.

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