US Household Debt Soars to $17.7 Trillion in 1st Quarter: New York Fed Data

Stressed U.S. households “faced worsening financial distress” to kick off 2024 as they endured a blend of higher inflation and rising interest rates, according to Federal Reserve Bank of New York economists.

New data from the regional central bank’s Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit showed that total U.S. household debt surged by $184 billion to $17.69 trillion in the first quarter, with borrowers facing higher delinquency rates.

Aggregate delinquency rates advanced in the first three months of 2024, with 3.2 percent of outstanding debt in some stage of delinquency, up from 3.1 percent in the final quarter of 2023.

Mortgage debt increased $190 billion from the previous quarter to $12.442 trillion. Home equity lines of credit (HELOC) balances swelled by $16 billion to $376 billion, rising for the eighth consecutive quarter.

The flow into serious delinquency (90 days or more) for mortgage debt rose to 0.92 percent, up from 0.59 percent in the first quarter of 2023. HELOC delinquencies were little changed at 0.52 percent.

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