Household debt in the US increased slightly to $12.12 trillion for the fourth quarter of 2015, up $51 billion (0.4%) from the third quarter.
“Mortgage balances, the largest component of household debt, were roughly flat in the fourth quarter. Mortgage balances shown on consumer credit reports stood at $8.25 trillion, an $11 billion drop from the third quarter of 2015,” according to the New York Federal Reserve’s latest Household Debt and Credit Report.
“Balances on home equity lines of credit (HELOC) dropped by $5 billion, to $487 billion. Non-housing debt balances continued to increase in the fourth quarter, with a $19 billion increases each in auto loan and credit card balances respectively. Student loan balances increased by $29 billion.”
Overall household debt remains 4.4% below its below its peak of $12.68 trillion in the third quarter of 2008.
Furthermore, the NY Fed noted that “overall delinquency rates improved modestly in 2015Q4. As of December 31, 5.4% of outstanding debt was in some stage of delinquency. Of the $652 billion of debt that is delinquent, $442 billion is seriously delinquent (at least 90 days late or ‘severely derogatory’).”
And on top of that, about 213,000 consumers had a bankruptcy notation added to their credit reports this past quarter, which is 20% fewer than in the fourth quarter of 2015.
Here are some additional highlights from the report:
- Mortgage originations declined slightly, to $437 billion. About 104,000 individuals had a new foreclosure notation added to their credit reports between October 1 and December 31, slightly higher than last quarter’s 16-year low.
- Mortgage delinquencies continued the improving trend seen in the past 5 years. 2.2% of mortgage balances were 90 days delinquent during 2015Q4, compared to 2.3% in the previous quarter.
- Delinquency transition rates for current mortgage accounts were somewhat improved, with 1.1% of current balances transitioning to delinquency, while 17.7% of mortgage balances in early delinquency transitioned to 90+ days delinquent and 32.9% became current.
Student Loans, Credit Cards, and Auto Loans
- Outstanding student loan balances increased by $29 billion, to $1.23 trillion as of December 31, 2015.
- 11.5% of aggregate student loan debt was 90+ days delinquent or in default in 2015Q4.2
- Auto loan balances reached $1.06 trillion, a $19 billion increase. 3.4% of auto loan balances are 90 or more days delinquent, unchanged since the third quarter.
- Credit card balances increased by $19 billion, to $733 billion.
- The number of credit inquiries within six months — an indicator of consumer credit demand — declined by 7 million from the previous quarter, to 175 million.
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