The NY Fed’s Center for Microeconomic Data is reporting that total household debt increased by 1.8% in the fourth quarter of 2016, rising $226 billion to reach $12.58 trillion, only $99 billion short of its peak in Q3 of 2008. The CMD’s latest Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit 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.
- Aggregate household debt balances grew in the fourth quarter of 2016. As of December 31, 2016, total household indebtedness was $12.58 trillion, a $226 billion (1.8%) increase from the third quarter of 2016. Overall household debt is now 0.8% below its 2008 Q3 peak of $12.68 trillion, and is 12.8% above the 2013 Q2 trough.
- Balances on home equity lines of credit (HELOC) were roughly flat, rising $1 billion to $473 billion.
- Mortgage balances, the largest component of household debt, which stood at $8.48 trillion as of December 31, saw a $130 billion uptick from Q3 2016.
- Non-housing debt balances rose in the fourth quarter; with increases of $22 billion in auto loans, 32 billion in credit cards, and 31 billion in student loans.