Household Debt Increases for 15th Consecutive Quarter

Outstanding household debt increased by 0.5 percent in the first quarter of 2018, rising by $63 billion to land at $13.21 trillion, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said yesterday. The quarterly increase marks the 15th consecutive month of annual debt growth.

Mortgage balances — the largest component of household debt — increased $57 billion in the first quarter to total $8.94 trillion, and the median credit score for new mortgage borrowers increased. Home equity lines of credit continued to decline, falling by $8 billion during the quarter. Auto loans and student loans both increased, with auto loans continuing their six-year upward trend.

Overall delinquency rates improved, with 4.6 percent of outstanding debt in delinquency. Mortgage delinquencies improved, with 1.2 percent of mortgage balances 90 or more days delinquent. Auto loan delinquency were up from the previous quarter, and credit card balances were down $19 billion, consistent with seasonal patterns.