Car Loans on the Rise as U.S. Households Borrow More: Chart

U.S. households held 1.9 percent more auto debt in the final three months of 2016 than in the previous quarter, as automakers closed out a record year with 17.55 million cars and light trucks sold. Auto loans now make up 9.2 percent of Americans’ debt loads, the highest share in New York Fed data going back to 2003. “Debt held by Americans is approaching its previous peak, yet its composition today is vastly different as the growth in balances has been driven by non-housing debt,” Wilbert van der Klaauw, senior vice president at the New York Fed, said in a statement.