Economist's Insights

Consumer Credit Rose for 14th Quarter in a Row

Feb 13, 2018

The NY Fed’s Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit showed outstanding debt rose $193B in 4Q17 to $13.1T, $473B higher than the peak of $12.7T just prior to the recession. Four of the five major categories increased from 3Q17 with a $4B decline in outstanding HELOC balances marking the sole decline. The updated outstanding figures showed mortgage debt higher by $139B to $8.9T, student loan debt up $21B to $1.4T, an $8B increase in auto loan debt taking the total to $1.2T, and $26B in additional credit card balances lifting the total to $834B. Total balances considered “severely derogatory”, or 90+ days past due, ticked down from 3.19% to 3.12% as improvement in the mortgage category offset worse results in other line items. There was broader improvement in the early roll rate into the first 30+ days past due delinquency bucket. New foreclosures and bankruptcies remained at their best levels of the cycle as did the percent of customers with a third party collection company.