Household debt ticks up slightly in Q1

Total household debt increased by 1.7% to $15.84 trillion in the first quarter of this year, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported today. Balances now stand $1.7 trillion higher than before the COVID-19 pandemic at the end of 2019.
Following typical seasonal trends at the start of the year, credit card balances declined by $15 billion but remained $71 billion higher than Q1 2021, a substantial year-over-year increase, according to the report. Auto loan balances increased by $11 billion in the first quarter, while student loan balances increased by $14 billion to $1.59 trillion. The volume of newly originated auto loans was $177 billion during the first quarter, reflecting an increase in auto prices. Aggregate limits on credit card accounts increased by $64 billion to $4.12 trillion–$224 billion above the pre-pandemic level.
Mortgage balances rose by $250 billion in the first quarter of 2022 to reach $11.18 trillion. Mortgage and auto loan originations both declined in the first quarter after historically high volumes in 2021. Mortgage originations were at $859 billion, a decline from last year’s high volumes, but still $197 billion higher than in Q1 2020.
Although the number of new foreclosures remained low, there was an uptick in Q1 2022. About 24,000 individuals had a new foreclosure notation added to their credit reports during the first quarter, compared to 9,000 in Q4 2021, reflecting the partial resumption on new foreclosures. Although the hold on foreclosures due to the CARES Act was lifted in July, additional federal and state policies may delay some foreclosure starts, the report noted. The share of mortgage balances more than 90 days past due remained at 0.5%, a historic low.
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