U.S. Consumer Debt Hits New Record Level

May 5, 2020

Household consumer debt hit a record high in the first three months of 2020. Debt balances through March rose to $14.3 trillion, a 1.1% increase from the fourth quarter of 2019. Debt is now higher than the previous high of $12.7 trillion, which was reached in the third quarter of 2008, at the height of the financial crisis.

One area of note is that despite increases in student debt, auto loans and mortgage balances, credit card debt fell by $34 billion. The New York Federal Reserve, who released the data, notes that this may be a sign of decreased consumer spending amidst the coronavirus outbreak.

The decline in credit card balances comes as total credit lines increased, with American households sitting on $3 trillion in available credit lines.

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