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Household Debt Tops $14 Trillion for the First Time, NY Fed Says

Total household debt in the U.S. has surpassed $14 trillion for the first time ever. It increased by $193 billion (1.4%) to $14.15 trillion in Q4 2019, according to the Center for Microeconomic Data at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. This figure has risen for 22 consecutive quarters, 5.5 years, and is up by nearly $1.5 trillion since the previous peak in the third quarter of 2008.

The biggest driver of the increase was mortgage balances, which rose by $120 billion in the fourth quarter. Mortgages are the largest component of household debt, representing $9.56 trillion, or 67.6%, of the $14.15 trillion total. Several other categories of household debt also rose in the fourth quarter, including auto loans, credit card debt, and student loans.

Key Takeaways

  • Household debt in the U.S. hit $14 trillion for the first time in Q4 2019.
  • Increased mortgage debt was the key driver.
  • Other categories of debt grew also.
  • Delinquencies among younger borrowers are rising significantly.

Significance For Investors

Looking Ahead

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