Aggregate household debt balances increased in the fourth quarter of 2017, for the 14th consecutive quarter, and are now $473 billion higher than the previous (2008:Q3) peak of $12.68 trillion. As of December 31, 2017, total household indebtedness was $13.15 trillion, a $193 billion (1.5 percent) increase from the third quarter of 2017. Overall household debt is now 17.9 percent above the 2013Q2 trough.
- Mortgage balances, the largest component of household debt, increased substantially during the fourth quarter. Mortgage balances shown on consumer credit reports on December 31 stood at $8.88 trillion, an increase of $139 billion from the third quarter of 2017.
- Balances on home equity lines of credit (HELOC) declined again, by $4 billion and now stand at $444 billion.
Non-housing balances, which have been increasing steadily for nearly six years overall, saw a $58 billion increase in the fourth quarter. Auto loans grew by $8 billion and credit card balances increased by $26 billion, while student loans saw a $21 billion increase.
Aggregate delinquency rates improved in the fourth quarter of 2017. As of December 31, 4.7 percent of outstanding debt was in some stage of delinquency. Of the $619 billion of debt that is delinquent, $406 billion is seriously delinquent (at least 90 days late or “severely derogatory”). The flow into 90+ days delinquency for credit card balances has been increasing notably from the last year and the flow into 90+ days delinquency for auto loan balances has been slowly increasing since 2012.