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News Link • Economy - Economics USA

Household Debt Up 18 Consecutive Quarters to a New Record, Card Stress Rising

• moneymaven.io by Mike Mish Shedlock

The New York Fed report on Household Debt and Credit Developments in 2018 Q4 shows consumer debt hit another new record.

Aggregate household debt balances ticked up in the fourth quarter of 2018 for the 18th consecutive quarter, and are now $869 billion (6.9%) higher than the previous (2008 Q3) peak of $12.68 trillion. As of December 31, 2018, total household indebtedness was $13.54 trillion, a $32 billion (0.2%) increase from the third quarter of 2018. Overall household debt is now 21.4% above the 2013 Q2 trough.

Mortgage balances shown on consumer credit reports on December 31 stood at $9.1 trillion, essentially unchanged from the third quarter of 2018. Balances on home equity lines of credit (HELOC) continued their declining trend from 2009 with a drop of $10 billion in the fourth quarter and are now at $412 billion, the lowest level seen in 14 years. Non-housing balances increased by $58 billion in the fourth quarter, with auto loans increasing by $9 billion, credit card balances going up by $26 billion, and student loan balances by $15 billion.

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