NY Fed Q4 Report: "Household Debt Increased, Fifth Consecutive Year Of Positive Annual Growth"

From the NY Fed: Household Debt Jumps as 2017 Marks the Fifth Consecutive Year Of Positive Annual Growth Since Post-Recession Deleveraging


The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Center for Microeconomic Data today issued its Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit,which reported that total household debt increased by $193 billion (1.5%) to $13.15 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2017. This report marks the fifth consecutive year of positive annual household debt growth. There were increases in mortgage, student, auto, and credit card debt (increasing by 1.6%, 1.5%, 0.7% and 3.2% respectively) and another modest decline in home equity line of credit (HELOC) balances (decreasing by 0.9%). The Report is based on data from the New York Fed's Consumer Credit Panel, a nationally representative sample of individual- and household-level debt and credit records drawn from anonymized Equifax credit data.

Mortgages are the largest form of household debt and their increase of $139 billion was the most substantial increase seen in several quarters. Unlike overall debt balances, which last year surpassed their previous peak reached in the third quarter of 2008, mortgage balances remain 4.4% below it. The New York Fed issued an accompanying blog post to examine the regional differences in mortgage debt growth since the previous peak.
...
Bankruptcy notations decreased for the second consecutive quarter. ... Foreclosure notations remained essentially unchanged at the lowest levels observed in the New York Fed’s data.
emphasis added

Total Household Debt Click on graph for larger image.

Here are two graphs from the report:

The first graph shows aggregate consumer debt increased in Q4.  Household debt previously peaked in 2008, and bottomed in Q2 2013.

From the NY Fed:
Mortgage balances, the largest component of household debt, increased substantially during the fourth quarter. Mortgage balances shown on consumer credit reports on December 31 stood at $8.88 trillion, an increase of $139 billion from the third quarter of 2017. Balances on home equity lines of credit (HELOC) declined again, by $4 billion and now stand at $444 billion. Non-housing balances, which have been increasing steadily for nearly 6 years overall, saw a $58 billion increase in the fourth quarter. Auto loans grew by $8 billion and credit card balances increased by $26 billion, while student loans saw a $21 billion increase.

Delinquency Status The second graph shows the percent of debt in delinquency. There is still a larger than normal percent of debt 90+ days delinquent (Yellow, orange and red).

The overall delinquency rate decreased in Q4.  From the NY Fed:
Aggregate delinquency rates improved in the fourth quarter of 2017. As of December 31, 4.7% of outstanding debt was in some stage of delinquency. Of the $619 billion of debt that is delinquent, $406 billion is seriously delinquent (at least 90 days late or “severely derogatory”). The flow into 90+ days delinquency for credit card balances has been increasing notably from the last year and the flow into 90+ days delinquency for auto loan balances has been slowly increasing since 2012.
There is much more in the report.

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