U.S. Household debt rises to nearly $16 trillion in the first quarter of 2022

The Fellowship of Penny Calling Penny
May 18, 2022
Household debt in US
Household debt in US

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US household debt rose to $15.84 trillion and added $266 billion to the debt balances in the first quarter of 2022, according to data released Tuesday, May 4, from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

The rise in the total household credit was driven by Mortgage debt, making up 71% of all household debt. The mortgage balance jumped by $ 250 billion in the first quarter and now stands at $11.18 trillion, an increase of 10% from the first quarter in 2021. However, the number of new loans declined slightly during the first three months of 2022. New mortgages totaled $859 billion for the quarter, down, but still above pre-pandemic levels.

The quarterly increase culminated after homeowners took advantage of low rates to take out larger loans last year. Mortgage originations were at $859 billion, representing a decline from the high volumes seen during 2021, yet still, $197 billion higher than in Q1 2020, right before the pandemic hit the United States, according to the New York Fed.

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The non-housing loans also saw an increase of $17 billion. Auto loan balances increased by $11 billion in the first quarter while student loan balances climbed by $14 billion and now stand at $1.59 trillion.

Credit card balances, which fell during the first quarter by $15 billion, stand at $71 billion.
According to New York Fed researchers, U.S. household finances look pretty good despite the overall higher debt load. Delinquencies are at historically low levels and bankruptcy rates are near historic lows.

New York Fed researchers also noted that the overall picture looks pretty good in terms of household debt, credit, and wealth. However, it doesn’t mean that is true for the whole population.


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