Household debt surged in 2019, marking the biggest annual increase since just before the financial crisis, the New York Federal Reserve reported yesterday. Total household debt balances rose by $601 billion last year, topping $14 trillion for the first time. The last time the growth was that large was 2007, when household debt rose by just over $1 trillion.
The growth was driven mainly by a large increase in mortgage debt balances, which rose $433 billion. That was the largest gain for that figure since 2007. Housing debt now accounts for $9.95 billion of the total balance.
Balances for auto loans and credit cards both increased by $57 billion for the year. Credit cards have surpassed student loans as the most common form of first credit among young borrowers, after several years when student loans were higher.