Press Release
Household Debt Grows for the Third Consecutive Quarter
May 13, 2014
A previous version noted household debt growth for four consecutive quarters

NEW YORK –In its Q1 2014 Household Debt and Credit Report, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York announced that outstanding household debt increased $129 billion from the previous quarter. The increase was led by rises in mortgage debt ($116 billion), student loan debt ($31 billion) and auto loan balances ($12 billion), slightly offset by a $27 billion declines in credit card and HELOC balances. Total household indebtedness stood at $11.65 trillion, 1.1 percent higher than the previous quarter.  Overall household debt remains 8.1 percent below the peak of $12.68 trillion reached in Q3 2008. The report is based on data from the New York Fed’s Consumer Credit Panel, a nationally representative sample drawn from anonymized Equifax credit data.

Additionally, an update to a recent blog discussing the impact of student loan debt on housing and auto markets is available on our Liberty Street Economics Blog.

“We’ve observed household debt increase three quarters in a row and delinquency rates at their lowest levels since 2008,” said Andy Haughwout, vice president and economist at the New York Fed. “However, the direction of future mortgage originations will have an important implication on the household financial outlook and we will continue to monitor it.”

Household Debt and Credit Developments as of Q1 2014

Category Quarterly Change* Annual Change** Total as of Q1 2014

Mortgage Debt

(+) $116 billion

(+) $233 billion

$8.17 trillion

Student Loan Debt

(+) $31 billion

(+) $125 billion

$1.11 trillion

Auto Loan Debt

(+) $12 billion

(+) $81 billion

$875 billion

Credit Card Debt

(-) $24 billion

(-) $1 billion

$659 billion

HELOC

(-) $3 billion

(-) $26 billion

$526 billion

Total Debt

(+) $129 billion

(+) $419 billion

$11.65 trillion

 *Change from Q4 2013 to Q1 2014
**Change from Q1 2013 to Q1 2014  

90+ day delinquency rates1

Category Q1 2014 Q4 2013

Mortgages

3.7 %

3.9%

Student Loans2

11.0%

11.5%

Auto Loans

3.3%

3.4%

Credit Cards

8.5%

9.5%

HELOC

3.4%

3.2%

All

4.8%

5.0%


Other highlights from the report:

  • Mortgage originations dropped by $120 billion to $332 billion, the lowest level since the third quarter of 20113
  • About 145,000 individuals had new foreclosure notations added to their credit reports, 12,000 fewer than the previous quarter
Household Debt and Credit Report »

1 Delinquency rates are computed as the proportion of the total debt balance that is at least 90 days past due. 

2 As explained in a recent report, delinquency rates for student loans are likely to understate actual delinquency rates because about half of these loans are currently in deferment, in grace periods or in forbearance and therefore temporarily not in the repayment cycle. This implies that among loans in the repayment cycle delinquency rates are roughly twice as high.

3Q1 2014 is the third consecutive quarter to witness both a decline in mortgage originations and an increase in mortgage balances. Over the long term, there is a positive association between mortgage originations and the rate of growth in mortgage debt balances. Note, however, that both the level and direction of growth also depend on quarterly levels and changes in mortgage closings and charge-offs.

About the report: The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Household Debt and Credit Report provides unique data and insight into the credit conditions and activity of U.S. consumers. Based on data from the New York Fed’s Consumer Credit Panel, a nationally representative sample drawn from anonymized Equifax credit data, the report provides a quarterly snapshot of household trends in borrowing and indebtedness, including data about mortgages, student loans, credit cards, auto loans and delinquencies.  The report aims to help community groups, small businesses, state and local governments and the public to better understand, monitor and respond to trends in borrowing and indebtedness at the household level.  Sections of the report are presented as interactive graphs on the New York Fed’s Household Credit web page and the full report is available for download. 

Media Contact:

Matthew Ward
(212) 720-6885br />matthew.ward@ny.frb.org