The New Demographics

Half of All Insolvencies Filed By Millennials

The only age group to see a rise in unsecured debt obligations

A new study from the Ontario insolvency firm Hoyes, Michalos & Associates, Inc., reveals a growing trend among Canadian consumers.

KITCHENER, ON, Feb. 13, 2023 /CNW/ – Half of all insolvencies (49%) in 2022 were filed by Millennials, even though they make up less than 27% of total consumers aged 18 and over, according to a study conducted by Licensed Insolvency Trustees Hoyes, Michalos & Associates Inc.

“Millennials were the only age group to see a rise in their unsecured debt obligations last year,” says Doug Hoyes, Licensed Insolvency Trustee.

Millennials owed an average of $47,283 in unsecured debt in 2022:

More than 1 in 3 (35%) Millennials carried student loan debt, owing on average $16,725. Student debt represented 30% of their total unsecured debt load.

More than half (55%) had at least one extremely high-cost loan, with an average balance of $11,940, up 17.4% from 2021.

87% of Millennials owed credit card debt, and average credit card debt increased 1.5% from 2021 to $13,948.

Tax obligations also rose significantly among Millennial debtors, as 46% had tax debts, up from 37% in 2021. They owed an average of $12,137 in 2022. CERB collection was a contributing factor.

Millennials: 1.7 Times More Likely Than Boomers To File For Insolvency

“The average insolvent Millennial is just 33 years old, yet they are 1.7 times more likely than Baby Boomers and 1.4 times as likely as Generation X to file insolvency, relative to the population,” adds Ted Michalos, Licensed Insolvency Trustee. “We’ve noticed an overall trend since 2016 that the average insolvent borrower continues to get younger, with student loan debt and extremely high-cost loans being the main drivers of their insolvency.”

The average insolvent Millennial is just 33 years old, yet they are 1.7 times more likely than Baby Boomers and 1.4 times as likely as Generation X to file insolvency, relative to the population...

The latest study also revealed an alarming trend in the growth of Rapid High-Cost Loans – including traditional payday loans and extremely high-interest lines of credit and installment loans. Minimum interest rates on high-cost installment loans range between 29.99% and 59.99%, with high fees on top of interest charges.

In 2022, 53% of all insolvent debtors, not just Millennials, had at least one Rapid Loan, and usage is increasing.

“We are seeing not just an increased use of traditional payday loans, but a much more dramatic rise in the use of larger, longer-term high-cost loans,” says Doug Hoyes. “We estimate that one-third of quick cash loans among insolvent borrowers are now high-interest installment loans.”

In 2022, the average insolvent debtor with a Rapid Loan owed a total of $12,100 to 4.0 different lenders, up from $10,819 to 3.8 lenders in 2021.

“Despite subprime lending being a small component of overall lending in Canada, its fast growth is creating a crisis among heavily indebted borrowers and these Rapid Loans are a significant driver of consumer insolvencies” adds Hoyes.




For more information, see the complete Joe Debtor study here:
About Hoyes, Michalos & Associates, Inc. Hoyes, Michalos & Associates Inc., a Licensed Insolvency Trustee firm co-founded by Doug Hoyes and Ted Michalos in 1999, has established itself as the leading voice on personal debt issues in Ontario. Hoyes Michalos provides real debt management solutions to help Ontarians climb out of debt, including consumer proposals and personal bankruptcy, with offices throughout Ontario. Further information is available at
SOURCE Hoyes, Michalos & Associates Inc.