“Record Household Debt: A Snapshot of Financial Strain in America”

A new Biden administration rule has created an $8 ceiling for credit card late fees. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images / Getty Images)

The New York Federal Reserve report highlights a concerning trend in American household debt for the first quarter of 2024. Total household debt reached a record $17.69 trillion, with mortgage balances contributing significantly to this increase. While auto loan balances continued their upward trajectory, credit card balances decreased slightly but remained near a record high. Despite efforts to pay down debt after the holiday season, a growing number of households are struggling with credit card, student, and auto loan payments. Delinquency rates have risen slightly, with 3.2% of outstanding debt in some stage of delinquency. Serious delinquency rates, where balances are more than 90 days overdue, have increased across all debt types. Joelle Scally of the New York Fed emphasizes the concerning rise in credit card and auto loan delinquencies, indicating worsening financial distress among certain households.

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