Household debt grew to $US11.83 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2014.
According to the New York Federal Reserve’s latest Household Debt and Credit report, household debt in the third quarter rose 1.0%, or by $US117 billion.
Overall, household debt is below its $US12.68 trillion peak reached in the third quarter of 2008.
From the NY Fed: “Mortgages balances, the largest component of household debt, increased by 0.5%. Mortgage balances shown on consumer credit reports stand at $US8.17 trillion, up by $US39 billion from their level in the third quarter. Balances on home equity lines of credit (HELOC) declined slightly, by $US2 billion (0.4%) in the fourth quarter and now stand at $US510 billion. Non-housing debt balances increased by 2.6 %, with increases in all categories of debt. Auto loan balances increased by $US21 billion; student loan balances increased by $US31 billion; credit card balances increased by $US20 billion.”
In their analysis of the debt, the NY Fed highlighted student loan debt as something worth watching.
“Although we’ve seen an overall improvement in delinquency rates since the Great Recession, the increasing trend in student loan balances and delinquencies is concerning,” the NY Fed’s Donghoon Lee said. “Student loan delinquencies and repayment problems appear to be reducing borrowers’ ability to form their own households.”
Some highlights from the report:
- Originations, which we measure as appearances of new mortgage balances on consumer credit reports and which includes refinanced mortgages, increased slightly, to $US355 billion, but remain low by historical standards.
- About 122,000 individuals had a new foreclosure notation added to their credit reports between October 1 and December 31.
- Mortgage delinquencies improved, with the share of mortgage balances 90 or more days delinquent decreasing slightly; 3.1% of mortgage balances were 90+ days delinquent during 2014Q4, compared to 3.2% in the previous quarter.
Student Loans, Credit Cards, and Auto Loans
- Outstanding student loan balances reported on credit reports increased to $US1.16 trillion (+$US31 billion) as of December 31, 2014, representing about $US77 billion increase from one year ago.
- Student loan delinquency rates worsened in the 4th quarter. About 11.3% of aggregate student loan debt is 90+ days delinquent or in default in 2014Q4, up from 11.1% in the third quarter.
- Auto loan delinquency rates worsened. The 90+ days delinquency rate is now at 3.5%, up from 3.1% in the previous quarter.
- The number of credit inquiries within six months — an indicator of consumer credit demand — increased by 4 million from the previous quarter, to 175 million.
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