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Consumer Debts in the US Reach $13.54 Trillion
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Consumer Debts in the US Reach $13.54 Trillion

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NEW YORK – February 13, 2019

Americans are in a borrowing mood, and their total tab for consumer debt has reached another record - $13.54 trillion. About two-thirds of this amount is mortgage debt.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Center for Microeconomic Data today issued its Quarterly Report on Household Debt. According to it, total debt on consumer loans increased by $32 billion and reached a record level of $13.54 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Debts are increasing for the 18th consecutive quarter, and the total amount of debt is now $869 billion higher than the previous peak level of $12.68 trillion in the third quarter of 2008. Furthermore, the total debt of households is now 21.4% higher than the level achieved in the second quarter of 2013, after the financial crisis, the report says.

The report is based on data from the New York Fed’s Consumer Credit Panel, a nationally representative sample of individual- and household-level debt and credit records drawn from anonymized Equifax credit data.

More than half of the total amount of debt - $9.1 trillion - falls on mortgage debt. This figure has not changed much since the third quarter of 2018, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said. The share of overdue loans (for 90 days or more) remained at about the same level as in the third quarter - 1.1%.

Credit card balances rose by $26 billion to $870 billion. The increase in credit card balances is consistent with seasonal patterns but marks the first time credit card balances re-touched the 2008 nominal peak.

The share of overdue loans in the fourth quarter on cards reached 5%.

Car loan debt increased by $9 billion, student loan debt increased by $15 billion.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Household Debt and Credit Report provides unique data and insight into the credit conditions and activity of U.S. consumers. Based on data from the New York Fed's Consumer Credit Panel, a nationally representative sample drawn from anonymized Equifax credit data, the report provides a quarterly snapshot of household trends in borrowing and indebtedness, including data about mortgages, student loans, credit cards, auto loans and delinquencies. The report aims to help community groups, small businesses, state and local governments and the public to better understand, monitor and respond to trends in borrowing and indebtedness at the household level. Sections of the report are presented as interactive graphs on the New York Fed’s Household Debt and Credit Report web page and the full report is available for download.

Author: USA Really