Student debt in serious delinquency — 90 or more days — rose to 9.1 percent in the third quarter from 8.6 percent in the previous quarter — the biggest jump in seven years.
In fact, the total debt held by Americans rose to $13.5 trillion in the third quarter, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in its Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit. It was the 17th consecutive quarter with an increase, and the total is now $837 billion higher than the previous peak of $12.68 trillion in the third quarter of 2008, right before the Great Recession took hold. In addition, overall household debt is now 21.2 percent above the post-financial-crisis low reached during the second quarter of 2013.
Some 4.7 percent of outstanding debt — including automotive and credit card debt, as well as student loans — was in some stage of delinquency in the third quarter.
The data also showed that mortgage originations increased to $445 billion from $437 billion in the second quarter, while mortgage delinquencies were relatively flat, with 1.1 percent of balances 90 or more days delinquent in the third quarter. As for auto loans, those balances increased by $27 billion to $1.27 trillion in the third quarter, while credit card balances rose by $15 billion to $844 billion. And while the number of credit inquiries within the past six months increased slightly, it still remains among the lowest seen in the history of the data.
The New York Fed also released new charts and data broken out by borrower age.
“The new charts in our report help to better understand how the debt and repayment landscape have shifted in the years following the Great Recession,” Donghoon Lee, research officer at the New York Fed, said in a press release. “Older borrowers now hold a larger share of total outstanding debt balances, while the shares held by younger borrowers have contracted and shifted toward auto loans and student loans.”