03/03/2015 05:16 EST | Updated 05/03/2015 05:59 EDT

Canadian consumer debt, including mortgages hits $1.53 trillion: Equifax

TORONTO - Consumers are continuing to pile on debt despite economic uncertainty created by the sharp drop in oil prices.

Credit monitoring agency Equifax says consumer debt, including mortgage debt, rose to $1.529 trillion at the end of 2014.

That was up 7.7 per cent from $1.42 trillion at the end of 2013, including a 1.1 per cent increase in the latest quarter.

Compared with the same quarter last year, Equifax says national consumer demand for credit was driven mainly by credit cards. Bank and auto inquiries also increased.

Meanwhile, the average debt held by Canadians, excluding mortgages, totalled $20,967 at the end of last year, Equifax says.

Despite concerns about consumer debt, the 90-day-plus delinquency rate has remained the same or declined in most regions, coming in at 1.09 per cent nationally in the fourth quarter, the lowest since 2008.