U.S. household debt jumps past $16 trillion, with $2 trillion added since the end of 2019

Since the end of 2019, just prior to the pandemic, household debt has risen by nearly $2 trillion passing $16 trillion in the second quarter of 2022.

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The New York Federal Reserve report says “total household debt in the second quarter of 2022, increasing by $312 billion (2%) to $16.15 trillion. Balances now stand $2 trillion higher than at the end of 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Mortgage balances rose by “$207 billion in the second quarter of 2022 and stood at $11.39 trillion at the end of June.”

Credit card balances also rose by $46 billion in the second quarter of 2022. 

The NY Federal Reserve says “Although seasonal patterns typically include an increase in the second quarter, the 13% cumulative increase in credit card balances since Q2 2021 represents the largest in more than 20 years.”

They also said that auto loans increased by $33 billion, while student loan balances were “roughly unchanged from the first quarter” standing at $1.59 trillion.

“In total, non-housing balances grew by $103 billion, the largest increase seen since 2016.”

Additionally, “Aggregate limits on credit card accounts increased by $100 billion and now stand at $4.22 trillion–the largest increase in more than ten years.”

Joelle Scally, Administrator of the Center for Microeconomic Data at the New York Fed said rising prices are in part driving the increases in household debt: 

“The second quarter of 2022 showed robust increases in mortgage, auto loan, and credit card balances, driven in part by rising prices,”.

Adding that “While household balance sheets overall appear to be in a strong position, we are seeing rising delinquencies among subprime and low-income borrowers with rates approaching pre-pandemic levels.”

The NY Federal Reserve notes that the “share of current debt transitioning into delinquency increased modestly for all debt types”  but that it still remains at historically “very low” levels.

“The delinquency transition rate for credit cards, auto loans, and other debts increased by 0.5 percentage points, with home equity lines of credit increasing by 0.7 percentage points.”
Read the report here.

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