Total household debt continues to grow, according to new research released by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. It’s a number that has grown for 22 consecutive quarters.
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Center for Microeconomic Data issued its Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit,which shows that total household debt increased by $193 billion (1.4 percent)to $14.15 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2019. This marks the 22nd consecutive quarter with an increase, and the total is now $1.5 trillion higher, in nominal terms, than the previous peak of $12.68 trillion in the third quarter of 2008.
The report is based on data from the New York Fed’s Consumer Credit Panel, a nationally representative sample of individual- and household-level debt and credit records drawn from anonymized Equifax credit data.
Mortgage balances—the largest component of household debt—rose by $120 billion in the fourth quarter to $9.56 trillion. Non-housing debt balances rose by $79 billion in the fourth quarter, with increases seen across a variety of debt types, including $16 billion in auto loans, $46 billion in credit card balances, and $10 billion in student loans.
Mortgage originations jumped to the highest volume seen since Q4 2005, rising to $752 billion in the fourth quarter from $528 billion in Q3 2019, due to a large increase in refinance activities. Among newly originating mortgage borrowers, the median credit score stood at 770, a 5-point increase from the Q3 2019. Auto loan originations remained high at $159 billion in the fourth quarter of 2019.
Read the complete NY Fed report here.