Cars, Credit Cards Boost U.S. Household Debt in Second Quarter

  • NY Fed: Student loan debt declines for first time on record
  • Total auto loan debt outstanding reaches new all-time high

Increased U.S. household borrowing to finance vehicles and credit-card purchases offset declines in the amounts of mortgage and student loan debt outstanding to propel total consumer debt slightly higher in the second quarter, according to a report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

The report, released on Tuesday, showed that $427 billion of new mortgages were originated in the three months to end-June, roughly in line with the average over the last two years. Total student loan debt declined $2 billion to $1.26 trillion over the same period, recording the first drop on record in data going back to 2003.

Auto loan debt rose 3 percent to a new record high of $1.1 trillion, while credit-card debt rose 2.4 percent to $729 billion. Total consumer debt rose 0.3 percent to $12.29 trillion, 3.1 percent below the record level reached in the third quarter of 2008.

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