Household Debt Climbs; Mortgage Debt Remains Below Peak

Outstanding household debt increased by 0.6 percent in the second quarter of 2018, rising by $82 billion to land at $13.29 trillion, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said today. The quarterly increase marks the 16th consecutive month of annual debt growth.

Mortgage balances, the largest component of household debt, increased by $60 billion in the second quarter to total $9 trillion – remaining well below the 2008 peak of almost $10 trillion. The median credit score for new mortgage borrowers increased. Home equity lines of credit continued to decline, falling by $4 billion during the quarter. Among non-mortgage debt categories, credit card balances saw the biggest quarterly percentage increase at 1.7 percent; auto loan balances rose by 0.8 percent, while student loans held steady.

Overall delinquency rates improved, with 4.5 percent of outstanding debt in delinquency, down 10 basis points from the first quarter. Mortgage delinquencies improved as well, with 1.1 percent of mortgage balances 90 or more days delinquent. The percentage of debt in serious delinquency rose for credit cards, held steady for auto loans and declined for student debt — although 90-day student loan delinquencies have remained elevated since 2012.