Press Release
New York Fed Report Shows Household Debt Edges Higher
November 25, 2014

NEW YORK – The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Q3 2014 Household Debt and Credit report shows outstanding household debt increased $78 billion from the previous quarter, led by balance increases in all measured categories except home equity lines of credit (HELOC). At $11.71 trillion, total household indebtedness remains $970 billion below the peak of $12.68 trillion reached in Q3 2008. This report is based on data from the New York Fed’s Consumer Credit Panel, a nationally representative sample drawn from anonymized Equifax credit data.

Auto loan originations in the third quarter were $105 billion, the highest amount in nearly 10 years. Auto loan balances have increased for 14 straight quarters.

Additionally, mortgage debt increased by $35 billion and non-housing debt was up $48 billion (auto loans $29 billion, credit cards $11 billion and student loans $8 billion). Home equity lines of credit (HELOC) decreased $9 billion, continuing a three-year decline.

A Liberty Street Economics blog post which analyzes household deleveraging is also available in conjunction with the report.

“Outstanding household debt, led by increases in auto loans, student loans and credit card balances, has steadily trended upward in recent quarters,” said Wilbert van der Klaauw, senior vice president and economist at the New York Fed. “In light of these data, it appears that the deleveraging period has come to an end and households are borrowing more.”

Household Debt and Credit Developments as of Q3 2014

Category Quarterly Change* Annual Change** Total as of Q3 2014

Mortgage Debt

(+) $35 billion

(+) $234 billion

$8.13 trillion

Student Loan Debt

(+) $8 billion

(+) $99 billion

$1.13 trillion

Auto Loan Debt

(+) $29 billion

(+) $89 billion

$934 billion

Credit Card Debt

(+) $11 billion

(+) $8 billion

$680 billion

HELOC

(-) $9 billion

(-) $23 billion

$512 billion

Total Debt

(+) $78 billion

(+) $430 billion

$11.71 trillion

 *Change from Q2 2014 to Q3 2014
**Change from Q3 2013 to Q3 2014  

90+ day delinquency rates1

Category Q3 2014 Q2 2014

Mortgages

3.2 %

3.4%

Student Loans2

11.1%

10.9%

Auto Loans

3.1%

3.3%

Credit Cards

7.5%

7.8%

HELOC

3.3%

3.3%

All

4.3%

4.5%


Other highlights from the report:

  • Mortgage originations, which are measured as appearances of new mortgage balances and also includes refinanced mortgages, increased to $337 billion, reversing a four quarter trend.
  • Roughly 113,000 individuals had a new foreclosure notation added to their credit reports in the quarter. New foreclosures have been on a declining trend since Q2 2009 and are now at the lowest level in the data series.
Household Debt and Credit Report »

1 Delinquency rates are computed as the proportion of the total debt balance that is at least 90 days past due.

2 As explained in a recent report, delinquency rates for student loans are likely to understate actual delinquency rates because about half of these loans are currently in deferment, in grace periods or in forbearance and therefore temporarily not in the repayment cycle. This implies that among loans in the repayment cycle delinquency rates are roughly twice as high.

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. 

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