Total household debt increased by $192 billion (1.4 percent) to $13.86 trillion in the second quarter of 2019, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s latest Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit. It was the twentieth consecutive quarter with an increase, and the total is now $1.2 trillion higher, in nominal terms, than the previous peak of $12.68 trillion in the third quarter of 2008.
Mortgage balances—the largest component of household debt—rose by $162 billion in the second quarter to $9.4 trillion, just higher than the previous high of $9.3 trillion from the third quarter of 2008. Non-housing balances increased by $37 billion in the second quarter, with a $17 billion increase in auto loan balances and a $20 billion increase in credit card balances offsetting an $8 billion decline in student loan balances.
MarketWatch personal finance columnist Alessandra Malito reported that Americans in their 60s held $2.16 trillion in debt during the second quarter of 2019, just short of the record $2.17 trillion they had during the first quarter. That’s significantly more than the $1.47 trillion they had during the second quarter of 2008, shortly after the Great Recession began, she wrote. Malito also noted that individuals 70+ owed $1.16 trillion in the second quarter of 2019, versus the $0.54 trillion 11 years ago.