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Auto loan delinquency rates spike in Alberta

Alberta now has the second highest auto loan delinquency rate in the country, according to a report by the credit agency TransUnion.

Number of Calgarians 60 days or more behind on payments jumped 18%

TransUnion reports that the number of Albertans who are 60 or more days behind on their vehicle loans and leases has jumped by 35 per cent in the past year. (Michael Welter)

Alberta now has the second highest auto loan delinquency rate in the country, according to a report by the credit agency TransUnion.

The number of Albertans who are 60 days or more behind on their vehicle loans and leases jumped by 35 per cent in just one year, said Jason Wang with TransUnion.

"And that's quite a big jump. For Calgary we're looking at an 18-per cent jump. So that's big," he said.

Alberta is now second only to Saskatchewan when it comes to auto loan delinquency rates, Wang says. And he expects the trend to continue in the coming months as EI benefits dry up for more Albertans.

Saskatchewan has the highest auto loan delinquency rate in the country, at 2.7  per cent, followed by Alberta at 2.4 per cent. For Canada as a whole, auto loan delinquencies rose to 1.3 per cent.

Ben Eggen, a financial educator with the non-profit Credit Counselling Society, says he has been seeing more people selling their vehicles or having them repossessed.

"Absolutely, with job loss and with income reduction, decisions have to be made and those are the kinds of decisions people are making," he said.

"It's not just vehicles, it's all the toys. ATVs, motor homes, payments on credit cards and lines of credit," he said.

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