Household Debt And Credit Report: Up $313B in Q2 2021

Household debt increased by $313B (2.1%) to $14.96 trillion in Q2 2021. There were increases in mortgage balances and auto loans, credit card balances began to tick up, and student loans decreased.

NEW YORK – The Federal Reserve Bank of New York's Center for Microeconomic Data today issued its Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit . The report shows that total household debt increased by $313 billion (2.1%) to $14.96 trillion in the second quarter of 2021. The total debt balance is now $812 billion higher than at the end of 2019. The 2.1% increase in aggregate balances was the largest seen since Q4 2013 and marked the largest nominal increase in debt balances since Q2 2007. The Report is based on data from the New York Fed's Consumer Credit Panel, a nationally representative random sample of individual- and household-level debt and credit records drawn from anonymized Equifax credit data. Read more

As a result of the housing and mortgage crisis of the Great Recession, economists have been paying more attention to the liabilities portion of household balance sheets. Among the New York Federal Reserve Board's many economic reports is the Household Debt and Credit report, which is released quarterly with data going back to 2003.

Data is collected through the NY Fed's Consumer Credit Panel which is constructed from a nationally representative random sample of Equifax credit report data resulting in a sample size of over 40 million individuals quarterly. Here is some background on the report from the NY Fed:

The large increases in consumer debt and defaults—of mortgage debt in particular—during the Great Recession highlighted the importance of understanding the liabilities reflected on household balance sheets. To that end, one of the CMD’s large data collection projects is the New York Fed Consumer Credit Panel, which is constructed from a nationally representative random sample of Equifax credit report data. Analysis of this data set is regularly reported in the CMD’s Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit. The data set can be used to calculate national and regional aggregate measures of individual- and household-level credit balances, and delinquencies by product type. The Consumer Credit Panel also provides new insights into the extent and nature of heterogeneity of debt and delinquencies across individuals and households.

The chart below shows the total debt balance nationwide by composition in trillions of dollars. The current total is $14.96T, well exceeding the 2008 peak.

Here is a look at the inflation-adjusted picture using the CPI.

The next chart drills down into student loan debt and auto loans. It's no surprise the Student Loans have been on the rise with no end in sight.

Again here is an inflation-adjusted version.

Here we include GDP for reference.

Read more updates by Jill Mislinski