Household Debt Continues to Climb

Outstanding household debt increased by 1.4% in the second quarter of 2019, rising by $192 billion to land at $13.86 trillion, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported today. The increase marks the 20th consecutive quarter of debt growth.

Mortgage balances, the largest component of household debt, increased by $162 billion in the second quarter of 2019, landing at $9.4 trillion. The median credit score for new borrowers edged down slightly for auto loans in the second quarter, but was flat again for mortgages. Home equity lines of credit continued to decline, falling by $7 billion during the quarter. Among non-mortgage debt categories, credit card balances rose by $20 billion while auto loan balances rose by $17 billion and student loan balances fell by $8 billion.

Overall delinquency rates improved during the second quarter, with 4.4% of outstanding debt in some stage of delinquency. Mortgage delinquencies improved slightly, with 1% of mortgage balances 90 or more days delinquent—down from 1.1% in the first quarter of 2019. The amount of debt flowing into serious delinquency has been rising for credit cards since 2017. For auto loans, the flow into serious delinquency has been rising since 2012, but showed a slight seasonal decline in the second quarter. Student loan delinquency transition rates remain high relative to other types of debt.