Generation Debt: Why Gen X Has the Most Debt in Canada

A recent Ipsos poll found that Generation X has the most consumer debt in Canada. While the average Canadian has over $8,500 in consumer debt, not including a mortgage, Gen Xers between ages 35 and 54 owe over $10-grand on their loans and credit cards. Not only that, but they likely have the biggest mortgages as well, according to Ipsos’ VP of Public Affairs.

Not only does Gen X have an average of $10,000 in consumer debt, but they likely have the biggest mortgages as well, according to @IpsosCanada Click To Tweet

If it’s any consolation, their American counterparts might be even worse off. Total non-mortgage debt for U.S. Gen Xers has increased from $20,000 to $23,000 over the past three years. This figure includes student loans, which most Canadian grads under 40 are still paying off, too. But the single most indebted age in America is 44-year-olds, who owe an average of $142,077 (including mortgage debt), a lot more than baby boomers did when they were 44!

Factor in that the average Canadian mortgage is just under $200K, and 44-year-olds might owe even more money in this country.

Stuck in the middle with debt

We don’t call them the sandwich generation because they love ham on rye. Gen Xers raising kids often have to look after their aging parents too. Plus there’s the ever-present concern of saving for retirement, as well as meeting the mortgage and car payments. With great responsibility comes…greater debt?

This may be true when it comes to the cost of housing. Without enough family-sized condos on the market, Canadians looking to raise kids are looking at buying a house—an increasingly unaffordable proposition in many major cities. These days, the average first-time homebuyer in Canada could be dealing with mortgage debt well into their 40s and beyond. And then there’s the added costs of childcare

How Gen X can pay off debt

Is your debt becoming unmanageable? Here are 12 signs of financial trouble that might mean it’s time to get help. If you’re having trouble keeping track of multiple credit card and loan payments, you could consider debt consolidation, or file a consumer proposal.

Our local debt relief experts from across Canada offer more advice for Gen Xers in this blog post roundup. You can also visit or check out the #gensqueeze hashtag on Twitter for more information and resources.