U.S. household debt hit record $13T last quarter

By Allen Cone

Nov. 14 (UPI) -- Household debt in the United States reached a record $13 trillion in the third quarter, and rose for the 13th consecutive quarter, officials said Tuesday..

A report by the New York Federal Reserve's Center for Microeconomic Data on household debt and credit showed the figures. It's based on data from the agency's Consumer Credit Panel and credit ratings firm Equifax.


The third quarter statistic was $280 billion above the previous record for the period (2008).

Aggregate household debt balances increased by $116 billion in that time, the report said. Since 2013, household debt has climbed more than 16 percent.

"Delinquency flows across several debt types climbed this quarter, including for auto loans," said Wilbert van der Klaauw, senior vice president at the New York Fed, in the report. "Examining the auto loan market more closely revealed notable differences between auto finance and auto bank lenders. Delinquency rates among auto finance lenders are considerably higher and rising, especially for subprime borrowers, in part reflecting differences in underwriting standards."

Mortgage balances, the largest component of household debt, climbed 0.6 percent -- $52 billion -- to $8.5 trillion by Sept. 30. Mortgage balances delinquent 90 or more days continued to improve to 1.4 percent in the third quarter, down from the beginning of this year.


Balances on home equity lines of credit, or HELOC, declined slightly to $448 billion.

Increasing were credit card debt (at $808 billion), auto loans ($1.2 trillion) and student loans ($1.3 trillion).

According to the report, foreclosures reached a historical low, affecting less than 70,000 homeowners.

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