Total household debt rose by $193 billion


Both the federal government and Americans are living off debt right now.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York's Center for Microeconomic Data reports total household debt rose to an all-time high of more than 13-trillion-dollars at end of 2017.

Mortgage debt balances rose the most in the December quarter rising by $139 billion to $8.88 trillion from the previous quarter. Credit card debt had the second largest increase of $26 billion to a total of $834 billion.

The report said it was fifth consecutive year of annual household debt growth with increases in the mortgage, student, auto and credit card categories. The figures are based on a sample of debt and credit records from Equifax data.

Financial wealth advisor Rebecca Walser said as consumer debt increases, so does consumer confidence.

“This is a combination of two things. First of all, what I will call the Trump Bump of the stock market going crazy last year. The second thing is this mortgage debt rising. People who were maybe on the fence on making a purchase, went ahead and said ok let’s pull the trigger and let’s close,” said Walser.

This is the fifth consecutive year of annual household debt growth with increases in the mortgage, student, auto and credit card categories.

Both the federal government and Americans are living off debt right now.

Walser said we're reached an all-time high on mortgage and credit card debts.

“Consumer sentiment was on an all-time high. And, when consumers are feeling good about the future of the economy, they are more inclined actually, to reach for the credit card because they feel like things will be rosy in the future and they’ll have the means to make the payments ,” said Walser.

She reminds us that the Federal Reserve indicated last year there were going to raise interest rates three times. Now, people are concerned that interest rates might normalize.


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