Household Debt Chart: How much do Americans owe?

By | March 15, 2014

title insurance, New York,New York City,Long Island,Michael HaltmanHousehold debt is once again on the rise ($11.52 trillion) and is not that far behind the Q3 2008 peak!

Most Americans are very aware of what they owe to someone else whether it be for a mortgage, a car loan, student loans, credit cards or very possibly for all four categories.

We also receive anecdotal evidence about the direction of indebtedness through some of the government statistics that are released each weak that serve as guideposts for the direction of the US economy.

To narrow it down, however, each year the Federal Reserve Bank of New York releases a chart that provides a breakdown of the amount of household debt outstanding on a nationwide basis and the categories that the debt falls into on a percentage basis.

It will come as little surprise as to what the largest percentage category of debt is, but second-place may surprise and quite possibly concern you. Then again, maybe it won’t.

The second chart below shows, by loan type, the percentage of outstanding debt that is 90+ days delinquent and indicates a sharp rise in student loans making it the ‘winner’ in that category.

Consumer Debt and Bankruptcy Statistics

Housing Debt

• Originations, which we measure as appearances of new mortgage balances on consumer credit reports, dropped again, to $452 billion.
• About 157,000 individuals had a new foreclosure notation added to their credit reports between October 1 and December 31.
• Foreclosures have been on a declining trend since the second quarter of 2009 and are now at the lowest levels seen since the end of 2005.
• Mortgage delinquency rates have seen consistent improvements; 3.9% of mortgage balances were 90+ days delinquent during 2013Q4, compared to 4.3% in the previous quarter.
• Serious delinquency rates on Home Equity Lines of Credit decreased to 3.2%, down from 3.5% in 2013Q3.

Student Loans and Credit Cards

• Outstanding student loan balances reported on credit reports increased to $1.08 trillion (+$53 billion) as of December 31, 2013, representing a $114 billion increase for 2013.
• About 11.5% of student loan balances are 90+ days delinquent or in default.
• Balances on credit cards accounts increased by $11 billion.
• The 90+ day delinquency rate on credit card balances increased slightly to 9.5%.

Auto Loans and Inquiries

• Auto loan originations decreased in the fourth quarter of 2013 to $88 billion.
• The percentage of auto loan debt that is 90+ days delinquent remains unchanged at 3.4%.
• The number of credit inquiries within six months – an indicator of consumer credit demand – remained virtually unchanged from the previous quarter at 169 million. (Source: NY Fed)



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  1. Pingback: Homes: Who’s buying and why? (Video) | Hallmark Abstract LLC

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