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Serious Delinquencies at Record Lows-Canadians Also Taking on Less Debt

TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 01/24/13 -- Equifax Canada's (NYSE:EFX) 2012 National Credit Trends year-end report finds that the 90-plus day delinquencies for all non-mortgage credit products have reached a record low of 1.19 per cent. This rate was as high as 1.75 per cent during the height of the recent recession.

"Throughout 2012, we continued to see slower growth in overall credit and a vast improvement in serious delinquencies, which were at a record low of 1.19 per cent in Q4," says Nadim Abdo, Vice President, Consulting and Analytical Services, Equifax Canada. This represents very positive financial control by consumers and the lending institutions given the sustained low interest rate environment and stable employment rates throughout the year," Abdo added.

The report also finds that in 2012, Canadians appear to be more financially sound by controlling their credit growth with the bulk of that growth coming from existing credit facilities, such as loans and lines of credit, as opposed to applying for new credit facilities.

"For example, consumer appetite for new credit in December 2012 remains much lower than it was is the pre-recession period, reflecting an 11 per cent decline from December 2007. The total non-mortgage consumer debt load increased by a mere 3.2 per cent from last year, which is significantly lower than observed in previous years," noted Abdo. "The only credit product which showed growth in average balances above the national average was for Auto Finance loans and leases, which grew at 7.4 per cent compared to last year."

For major city by city data, please go to: http://www.equifax.com/international/canada/Canadian_Consumer_Credit_Trends_Q4_2012.pdf

Other 2012 report findings include:


--  Average bank instalment debt grew at a healthy rate of 5 per cent,
    fuelled mostly by Bank Auto loans. 
    
--  Average bank revolving loans and lines of credit remained flat as
    compared to the same period in 2011. 
    
--  Average credit card balances dropped by 3.7 per cent. 

About Equifax

Equifax is a global leader in consumer and commercial information solutions, providing businesses of all sizes and consumers with information they can trust. We organize and assimilate data on more than 500 million consumers and 81 million businesses worldwide, and use advanced analytics and proprietary technology to create and deliver customized insights that enrich both the performance of businesses and the lives of consumers.

Headquartered in Atlanta, Equifax operates or has investments in 18 countries and is a member of Standard & Poor's (S&P) 500® Index. Its common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbol EFX. For more information, please visit www.equifax.com.

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