US household debt reaches record highs, above 2008

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An uninterrupted increase for more than five years. US household indebtedness continued to climb in the third quarter to reach a new record $ 13.950 billion, up $ 92 billion in three months (+ 0.7%), according to data released Wednesday, November 13 by the Fed. New York.

"This is the 21st consecutive quarter of increase and the total now exceeds 1,300 billion, in nominal terms, the previous peak of 12,680 billion in the third quarter of 2008," the institution said in a statement.

This peak was exceeded for the first time in the second quarter this year.

More than two-thirds of this debt consists of real estate loans, at $ 9.440 billion, but other types of debt have increased twice as much. Student debt has recovered even more after a break in the spring and now stands at $ 1.5 trillion. New auto loans are close to record highs and total auto debt has jumped to 1.320 billion, far ahead of credit card debt (880 billion).

US household debt Fed

(Evolution of US household debt, real estate in blue, other in pink, since 2004, in thousands of billions of dollars Credits: New York Fed)

Real estate failures and foreclosures at the lowest

In real estate, more than ten years after the subprime mortgage crisis, the New York Fed is not worried. The default rate (unpaid over 90 days), less than 1%, is "the lowest level observed in the data history"and foreclosures remain "very low by historical standards".

"The data suggests that households are taking advantage of a low-interest environment to earn credit," commented Donghoon Lee, research fellow at the New York Fed.

The Federal Reserve has lowered its key rates for the first time since the 2008 crisis in July and twice in the wake, three declines in three months.

(Evolution of non-real estate debt, pink student, green car, orange credit card, gray other .. Credit: New York Fed)

The student debt default rate exceeds 10% even though it has improved, with large disparities between neighborhoods, the predominantly black postal codes with much higher debt and default rates , the Fed analyzes in a separate blog post.



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