Press Release
New York Fed Report Shows Household Debt Rises in Third Quarter
November 14, 2013

NEW YORK—In its latest Household Debt and Credit Report, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York announced that outstanding household debt increased $127 billion from the previous quarter, the largest increase since the first quarter of 2008. The increase was due to rises in mortgage balances ($56 billion), student loans ($33 billion), auto loans ($31 billion) and credit card debt ($4 billion). The Quarterly Report is based on data from the New York Fed’s Consumer Credit Panel, a nationally representative sample drawn from anonymized Equifax credit data.

In Q3 2013 total household indebtedness increased to $11.28 trillion; 1.1% higher than the previous quarter. Overall consumer debt remains 11 percent below the peak of $12.68 trillion in Q3 2008.

“This quarter, we observed an increase of household balances across essentially all types of debt,” said Donghoon Lee, senior research economist at the New York Fed. “With non-housing debt consistently increasing and the factors pushing down mortgage balances waning, it appears that households have crossed a turning point in the deleveraging cycle.”

The percent of 90+ day delinquent balance for all household debt declined to 5.3 percent, the lowest rate since Q3 2008. Additionally, most household debt delinquency rates declined from the second quarter: mortgages (4.3 percent from 4.9 percent), credit card debt (9.4 percent from 10 percent) and auto loans (3.4 percent from 3.6 percent). Conversely, 90+ day delinquency rates for HELOC (3.5 from 3 percent) and student loans (11.8 percent from 10.9 percent) increased from the previous quarter.

Other highlights from the report include:

  • Student loan balances appearing on credit reports increased $33 billion to $1.03 trillion.
  • Auto loan balances increased for the 10 straight quarter, up $31 billion to $845 billion.
  • Credit card balances increased $4 billion to $672 billion.
  • Total mortgage debt increased to $7.9 trillion, up $56 billion.
  • HELOC balances fell $5 billion to $535 billion.
  • Mortgage originations dropped slightly to $549 billion.
  • 168,000 individuals had new foreclosure notations added to their credit reports, 70 percent below the peak of 566,000 in Q2 2009.

About the report: 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 Credit web page and the full report is available for download.

Media Contacts:
Matthew Ward
(212) 720-6885
matthew.ward@ny.frb.org

Andrea Priest
(212) 720-6139
andrea.priest@ny.frb.org