Seniors aged 70+ carrying more debt than ever before

HomEquity Bank teams with Equifax Canada to study Debt in Retirement

TORONTO, Sept. 10, 2015 /CNW/ - Mortgage debt among seniors is increasing right across Canada, and for those aged 70+ it has increased 12% compared to 2013.

That's according to the results of a Debt in Retirement study conducted by HomEquity Bank and Equifax Canada.

The study was conducted in July, 2015 and focused on Canadians aged 55 and older. It analyzed the main categories of debt including: mortgages, lines of credit, bank loans, car loans, credit cards and retail cards. The study provided a comparison period of 2013 and 2015.

"At HomEquity Bank, we're not surprised to see the results of this study. Every day, we hear from seniors who are struggling with debt. It can be due to inadequate pensions, the high cost of living or costly health care issues, but debt is increasingly a concern for many seniors," states Yvonne Ziomecki, SVP, HomEquity Bank.

Here, below, are the key findings of the Debt in Retirement Study:

  • Mortgage debt is increasing fastest in the Greater Toronto Area and Quebec and less so in Alberta and British Columbia
  • In 2015, 16.5% of people aged 55+ are carrying a mortgage. This is an increase of 10% from 2013
  • The average mortgage balance for Canadians aged 55+ grew by 11% from $158,000 in 2013 to $176,000 in 2015
  • The average mortgage balance is highest in the 55 to 60 age group, at $189,000, and lowest for the 75+ age group at $134,000
  • Seniors aged 71+ with a mortgage have an average balance of $140,000
  • Overall debt for those 70+ has increased by 12% between 2013 and 2015 versus only a 4% increase for those under 70. 

"It's shocking to find Canadians 71+ are still carrying hefty mortgages," notes Laurie Campbell, CEO, Credit Canada Debt Solutions. "By this age, they are fully retired and there's no opportunity to increase their income."

In fact, the study is showcasing a more relaxed attitude towards debt, she adds, "and this can jeopardize retirement."

The best case scenario is to "have your financial cards in good order in your early 50s and mortgage free by retirement," Campbell explains.

HomEquity Bank, the only Canadian bank working exclusively with seniors, helps elderly people remain in their homes through its CHIP reverse mortgage solution Seniors can supplement their income via reverse mortgage monthly or lump sum payments.

About HomEquity Bank

HomEquity Bank is a Schedule 1 Canadian Bank offering the CHIP reverse mortgage solution  It was founded 28 years ago as an annuity based solution addressing the financial needs of Canadians who want to access the equity of their top asset – their home. 

About Equifax

Equifax empowers businesses and consumers with information they can trust A global leader in information solutions, Equifax leverages one of the largest sources of consumer and commercial data, along with advanced analytics and proprietary technology, to create customized insights that enrich both the performance of businesses and the lives of consumers.

SOURCE HomEquity Bank

For further information: or to interview Yvonne Ziomecki, please contact: Teresa Donia, iAMBIC Communications,, 905-508-5550; Yvonne Ziomecki, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Sales, HomEquity Bank,, 647-723-6812

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