Canadians used fewer credit lines in 2016 but they compiled more debt over the ones they continuing to carry, according to a brand new survey out Wednesday.

Chicago-based TransUnion said the number of start and active charge cards in use by Canadians came by 800,000 out of the approximate 43 mil on the market. Chris Dias, senior vice-president of product invention and analytics during TransUnion Canada, said it’utes the largest yearly drop he could bear in mind.

Despite the drop in playing cards, the average credit card debt for every borrower climbed 2.3 per cent coming from a year ago to $4,094. This delinquency rate designed for non-payment of more than 90 days rose 3.2 every during the same period to 4.Twenty one per cent overall.

“The principle story is Canadians are generally opening fewer cards but they are borrowing regarding the cards they already may have,” said Dias, who described the “modest” increase in delinquencies as being a “good thing.”

On a regional basis, oil-dependent provinces Alberta and Saskatchewan had the largest start delinquencies. In Alberta, 4.7 per cent of playing cards were delinquent throughout 2016, up 23 percent from a year sooner, while Saskatchewan rose 22.7 per cent to 3.96 per cent delinquencies through the same period.

Dias said the No. 1 cause of the drop in credit cards has been origination which has been off 10 per cent throughout 2016 from 2016 – while people just stuck with their old cards.

“I can tell you it’azines a very, very very competitive market,” said Dias, regarding credit card companies chasing shoppers. “It could be positive designed for consumers as they really benefit from increased competition for their business.”

People are faithful to their cards and loyal to their loyalty program

The financial institutions are mostly competing simply by creating attractive bonuses for cards all over loyalty point products as opposed to reducing actual interest rates which can simply top 20 per cent. Lenders boosted plastic card limits by about three per cent in 2016.

Scott Hannah, ceo of the Vancouver-based Credit Conventional therapy Society, said individuals continue to focus on elements from their credit cards industry by storm interest rate charges which could rarely be called for by rewards these are collecting.

“People are faithful to their cards and loyal to their loyalty program. They put so much emphasis on their points,” said Hannah. “Consumers pay attention to gains. The cash back (homemade cards) are really important to these folks.”

Are they paying attention to interest fees. “No,” said Hannah. “Which will average credit card (debts) is probably costing them all $1,000 or more. Numerous consumers just go through the points and they are definitely not asking are they obtaining the best value. People are just not putting the two and a couple of together.”

In terms of comprehensive non-mortgage debt, TransUnion said entire debt jumped 2.18 per cent throughout 2016 from a year ago with an average of $21,912. The particular delinquency rate designed for country, across all of credit products outside of mortgages, dropped One.92 per cent in the period to 2.Forty eight per cent of all debts.