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US Household Debt Jumps Most Since 2008 Even as Credit-Card Rates Surge

  • Credit card balances see biggest rise in more than 20 years
  • Auto loans above $1.5 trillion on pace to surpass student debt
A shopper reaches inside a grocery store in San Francisco. 

A shopper reaches inside a grocery store in San Francisco. 

Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

US household debt climbed at the fastest annual pace since 2008 in the third quarter, with credit-card balances surging even as the interest rates that lenders charge to consumers hit a multi-decade high.

Households added $351 billion in overall debt last quarter, taking the total to $16.5 trillion, according to data released by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York on Tuesday. That’s an increase of 8.3% from a year earlier, the most since a 9.1% jump in the first quarter of 2008. The debt figures aren’t adjusted for inflation.