Total U.S. debt balance and debt composition, 2003-2015. As of 30 September 2015, total household indebtedness was $12.07 trillion, a $212 billion increase from the second quarter of 2015. Overall household debt remains 5 percent below its 2008Q3 peak of $12.68 trillion. Graphic: FRBNY

19 November 2015 (Federal Reserve Bank of New York) – Aggregate household debt balances increased in the third quarter of 2015. As of 30 September 2015, total household indebtedness was $12.07 trillion, a $212 billion increase from the second quarter of 2015. Overall household debt remains 5% below its 2008Q3 peak of $12.68 trillion. Mortgage balances, the largest component of household debt, increased in the third quarter. Mortgage balances shown on consumer credit reports stood at $8.26 trillion, a $144 billion increase from the second quarter of 2015. Balances on home equity lines of credit (HELOC) dropped by $7 billion, to $492 billion. Non-housing debt balances increased in the second quarter, boosted by a $40 billion increase in auto loan balances, and gains in credit card and student loan balances of $11 billion and $13 billion respectively.

New extensions of credit were robust in the third quarter. Mortgage originations, which we measure as appearances of new mortgage balances on consumer credit reports and which include refinanced mortgages, rose to $502 billion, a $36 billion increase from the previous quarter. Auto loan originations were $151 billion. The aggregate credit card limit increased for the 11th consecutive quarter, and was up by 1% from the previous quarter. HELOC limits were unchanged.

The distribution of the credit scores of mortgage borrowers was mostly unchanged, with the increase in mortgage origination driven primarily by the borrowers with the highest credit scores: 59% of all new mortgage balances were to borrowers with credit scores above 780.  Auto loan originations were robust across the board, with high levels of originations across all types of borrowers.

Overall delinquency rates improved modestly in 2015Q3. As of September 30, 5.6% of outstanding debt was in some stage of delinquency. Of the $672 billion of debt that is delinquent, $455 billion is seriously delinquent (at least 90 days late or “severely derogatory”).

About 225,000 consumers had a bankruptcy notation added to their credit reports in 2015Q3, 14% fewer than in the same quarter last year.

Household Debt and Credit Developments in 2015Q31 [pdf]

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