Americans have racked up a record amount of debt in the third quarter of the year, according to the latest data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. U.S. household debt jumped by 1.9%, or $286 billion, from the second quarter to hit a record $15.24 trillion.
The debt increase was 6.2% higher than the same period last year.
Mortgages make up a vast majority of the debt, totaling $10.67 trillion, and were the main driver in the increase. During the third quarter, mortgage debt rose by $230 billion. That number is expected to grow in the coming months as home prices continue to increase. The Mortgage Bankers Association predicts that housing prices won’t start to decline until the fourth quarter of 2022.
Auto loans increased by $28 billion, as the price of new and used vehicles has skyrocketed due to a shortage of computer chips used in new cars.
The amount of credit card debt taken on by Americans remained steady, growing by $17 billion to a total of around $800 billion.
“As pandemic relief efforts wind down, we are beginning to see the reversal of some of the credit card balance trends seen during the pandemic, namely reduced consumption and the paying down of balances,” New York Fed Research Officer in the Microeconomics Function Donghoon Lee said.
“At the same time, as pandemic restrictions are lifted, and consumption normalizes, credit card usage and balances are resuming their pre-pandemic trends, although from lower levels.”