VISA & Mastercard Debt Increases

September 5, 2017

Bank issued credit card debt levels may be out of control

According to the Canadian Bankers Association there were 8.2 million bank issued VISA and Mastercards in circulation in Canada in 1977.  That would be about one credit card per Canadian family.  By 2017, a mere forty years later, that number has soared to almost 80 million bank issued VISA and Mastercards a ten fold (or 1,000%) increase but the population has only increased by 34% so we might expect there to be about 11 million cards in circulation.

The number of cards is only one part of the story – the use of the cards is far more revealing, spending on those cards has increased one hundred and eight times (1,080,000%).  In 2015 Canadians charged around three hundred and ninety one billion dollars ($391,000,000,000) on those credit cards.

To add more perspective consider that the Canadian median income is a mere $27,600 and that there are about 36 million people in Canada – if every man woman and child earned the median income of $27,600 they wold have earned nine hundred and ninety billion dollars before taxes.  Now consider that Canadians pay approximately half of their income in some form of taxation from income taxes to property taxes, HST and so forth.   

The income earner who earned $27,600 would be left, after paying all of her taxes, with about $13,800 and would have charged about $10, 861 on a credit card.  But don’t worry the banks cant afford to call all the outstanding debts, instead they will allow you up to 375 years to amortize your debts – they will keep you in perpetual debt because they can’t figure out a better solution and neither can the government.

If you are a Canadian your biggest asset is your debt.  Stay broke and keep charging everything you purchase (that was a sarcistic attempt at humour, in case you missed it).