Household Debt Rises by $313 Billion in Second Quarter

Total household debt increased 2.1% in the second quarter of 2021, rising by $313 billion to land at $14.96 trillion, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported today. That increase was driven in large part by a rise in mortgage originations.

Mortgage balances, the largest component of household debt, rose by $282 billion in the second quarter, to reach $10.44 trillion. Among nonmortgage debt categories, credit card balances increased by $17 billion in the second quarter but are still $140 billion lower than they had been at the end of 1019. Auto loans rose by $33 billion. Student loans declined by $14 billion.

As of late June, 2.7% of outstanding debt was in some stage of delinquency, a two percentage point decline from the fourth quarter of 2019, just before the pandemic hit the United States. The share of mortgage balances delinquent 90 days or more fell to 0.3%, as forbearance remains an option and foreclosures are mostly on hold.
For auto loans and credit card debt, the share flowing into 90-day delinquency also declined, 1.6% for auto loans and 3.4% for credit card debt. The rate of serious student loan delinquency declined to 1% from 6.5% the prior year, as the majority of outstanding federal student loans remain covered by CARES Act forbearances.