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, however.

 

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.