Household debt rises amid growth in credit card debt

Total household debt increased 2% in the second quarter of 2022, rising by $312 billion to land at $16.65 trillion, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported today. Credit card balances saw their largest year-over-year percentage increase in more than 20 years. Aggregate limits on cards marked their largest increase in more than 10 years.

Mortgage balances, the largest component of household debt, increased by $207 billion during the second quarter of 2022 and stood at $11.39 trillion at the end of June, compared to $10.44 trillion at the same time last year. Balances on HELOCs increased by $2 billion, a “modest” increase following many years of declining balances; the outstanding HELOC balance stands at $319 billion.

Credit card balances increased $46 billion since the first quarter. While seasonal patterns typically include an increase in the second quarter, the 13% year-over-year increase marked the largest in more than two decades. Still, credit card balances remain slightly below pre-pandemic levels after sharp declines in the first year of the pandemic.

Auto loan balances increased by $33 billion in the second quarter. Student loan balances now stand at $1.59 trillion, roughly unchanged from the first quarter. Other balances, which include retail cards and other consumer loans, increased by $25 billion. In total, non-housing balances grew by $103 billion, a 2.4% increase from the previous quarter, the largest increase seen since 2016.