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U.S. Household Debt Reaches $15.24 Trillion in Q3, up 1.9% from Q2

The total debt balance is now $1.1 trillion higher than at the end of 2019 prior to the Covid pandemic, the New York Fed reported.
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Household debt continues to rise, climbing 1.9%, or $286 billion, to $15.24 trillion in the third quarter from the second quarter, the New York Federal Reserve Bank said.

The total debt balance is now $1.1 trillion higher than at the end of 2019 prior to the Covid pandemic. 

It is also $890 billion higher than in the third quarter of 2020, and $2.57 trillion higher, in nominal terms, than the $12.68 trillion of 2008.

Mortgage balances—the largest component of household debt—climbed by $230 billion to $10.67 trillion in the third quarter from the second quarter. Student loan balances rose $14 billion to $1.58 trillion.

Mortgage originations, which include mortgage refinancings, registered $1.1 trillion in the second quarter, down from the series high of $1.2 trillion in the second quarter.

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Auto loan balances increased by $28 billion in the third quarter to $1.44 trillion.

Credit card balances gained $17 billion, matching the second quarter increase, to $800 billion. Still, credit card balances remain $123 billion below the end of 2019.

"We are again seeing credit-card balances increase in the third quarter,” Donghoon Lee, research officer at the New York Fed, said in a statement.

"As pandemic relief efforts wind down, we are beginning to see the reversal of some of the credit card balance trends seen during the pandemic, namely reduced consumption and the paying down of balances.

“At the same time, as pandemic restrictions are lifted and consumption normalizes, credit card usage and balances are resuming their pre-pandemic trends, although from lower levels."