Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Do You Know How Much Debt You Have?

Do you know how much household debt you're carrying around? Your lenders might have a much more accurate picture of that than you do. That's the upshot of a new study released this week by the New York Fed, which looked at consumer credit scores in relation to what consumers actually owe.

In most cases, people had a pretty good handle on their debts. Consumers know how much they owe on their mortgages, the home equity lines of credit, and their car loans. But there were two categories where their assumptions were very wrong: credit card debt and student debt.

The study found that consumers self-reported their student debt as roughly 25 percent lower than what it actually was. Credit cards were even worse: In that category, consumers undershot their debt loads by an average of 37 percent.

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