Consumers are borrowing more to finance cards and college degrees, while credit card borrowing is stuck at 2003 levels, a Federal Reserve Bank of New York report shows
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In just four years, debt for student loans and cars has rocketed past credit card debt and continues to rise, while Americans’ total card debt is stuck back at levels from a decade ago, a Federal Reserve Bank of New York report shows.
As of the third quarter of 2014, Americans’ total debt for student loans was at $1.13 trillion, up 10 percent when compared to the previous year. Auto loan debts totaled $934 billion, 11 percent higher. Credit card balances were up 1 percent for the year, to $680 billion, but far below their peak in 2008, when they hit $866 billion.
Contrast those numbers to just a little more than four years ago, in the first quarter of 2010. Then, Americans owed more on their credit cards than on either student or auto loans.
- Credit card borrowing pulled back as consumers pulled back on card debt — or had their cards canceled by skittish card issuers. Total borrowing on credit cards remains depressed near the level it was in 2003.
- Auto loans slumped, then recovered.
- Student loan borrowing continued its stratospheric rise.
Of debts measured by the New York Fed, only home equity lines of credit declined, by 4 percent year on year to $512 billion, while mortgages were up by 3 percent for the year to $8.13 trillion.
The figures were constructed from a nationally representative random sample of 40 million credit reports drawn from credit bureau Equifax’s consumers credit report data.
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