Outstanding household debt increased by a robust 1.8 percent in the final quarter of 2016, rising by $226 billion to $12.58 trillion, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said today. The quarterly increase was driven by increases in every debt category, with strong growth in mortgage originations, auto loans, student loans at 2.4 percent and especially credit card debt at 4.3 percent. The total level of household debt is now less than a percentage point below its peak in the third quarter of 2008.
Overall delinquency rates were stable in the fourth quarter at 4.8 percent of outstanding balances. Auto debt delinquencies continued to deteriorate. Consistent with other data, lenders focused more on borrowers with higher credit scores for auto and mortgage loans.