The Federal Reserve Bank of New York released its Household Debt and Credit Report this month. The report, which uses anonymous credit data to generate a nationally representative sample, found that consumers’ overall indebtedness increased $2 billion to $11.9 trillion in the second quarter of 2015.
This number was aided by the increased number of Americans buying cars which pushed auto loan debt above $1 trillion for the first time in U.S. history. According to the report, Americans took out $119 billion in auto loans from April through June, up from $95 billion in the first quarter of the year. Through the first half of the year, auto sales are on pace to challenge the record of $17.4 million set in 2000.
Outstanding mortgage debt dropped by 0.7 percent in the second quarter to $8.12 trillion. Mortgage debt declined by $55 billion quarterly, while total household indebtedness increased just $2 billion from Q1 2015 up to $11.85 trillion in Q2. Foreclosures hit their lowest point in the 16-year history of the bank’s Consumer Credit Panel, with 95,000 new foreclosures in the second quarter – down from 112,000 at the same time last year.
The report found that mortgage balances and HELOC dropped by $55 billion and $11 billion, respectively. In the second quarter, there were $466 billion in new mortgage originations, and almost half of those originations were driven by borrowers with credit scores over 780. Only 8 percent ($38 billion) of all new mortgages were originated by borrowers with credit scores 660 and below.
Finally, credit card balances increased by $19 billion, while student loan balances – which totaled $1.2 trillion in June – remained flat. However, although student loans make up only 10% of all consumer debt, the amount of seriously past due student loan payments total nearly one-third of all seriously past-due debt payments.