American Household Debt Sets Record

American household debt has topped the record we set nine years ago, just as the recession was about to hit. The average American household owes $108,803.

Texas economist Ray Perryman notes the type of debt we're carrying has changed a bit.

“Mortgage debt is typically the largest debt of individual households, but student loan debt has gone up a lot, automobile debt is going up again,” Perryman notes. “As the economy is getting better, wages are going up, so they're trading in the old clunkers and buying new cars.”

The $12.73 trillion debt is still less than one year's gross domestic output, so we're not on the edge of a disaster.

“It's not a number that can't be sustained,” he says. “It is one that suggests that they're really a lot of people who are really over-extended and should take a good, hard look at their financial situation.”

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