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Household Debt Surpassed Record Level Reached During the 2008 Financial Crisis

Published: May 18, 2017
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Source: CNBC

The New York Federal Reserve reports that household debt across the nation has hit a dubious milestone in the first quarter: It surpassed the peak debt level of 2008 at $12.7 trillion.

Household debt — including mortgages, auto and student loans, and credit cards — rose $149 billion compared with the last quarter of 2016, with nearly all the gain coming from mortgages.

Reaching the peak raises questions about whether the backdrop exists again for another financial meltdown. But the data show the current structure of debt is substantially different from 2008.

Mortgage debt has fallen from 73 percent to 68 percent of total debt since the peak. That has come along with a rise in auto- and student-loan debt as a percent of the average American’s liabilities.

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