Overall household debt increased
for a third consecutive quarter as Americans showed signs of additional
progress in repairing their post-recession finances, The
Wall Street Journal reported.
Household debt, which includes
mortgages, credit cards, auto loans and student loans, increased by $129
billion between January and March to $11.65 trillion, a new quarterly report
from the Federal
Reserve Bank of New York showed Tuesday.
Mortgage balances, which make up
the largest portion of U.S. household debt, rose $116 billion to $8.2 trillion,
due in part to fewer loans going into foreclosure. Auto loan balances increased
by $12 billion to $875 billion, and student loan balances, the fastest-growing
category, increased by $31 billion to $1.1 trillion.
Other figures in the report
suggest that Americans are still playing it safe when it comes to borrowing,
The amount of credit card debt
outstanding fell to the lowest level since 2002. Credit card balances fell $24
billion to $659 billion from the prior quarter, just slightly below the level
from a year earlier.
New originations of mortgages dropped for the
third straight quarter to $332 billion, the lowest since the third quarter of
2011, possibly due to rising home prices in many markets that have made house
purchases less affordable.