Magazine article American Banker

Student Loans, Auto Debt Rose in Q1; Credit Card Obligations Fell

Magazine article American Banker

Student Loans, Auto Debt Rose in Q1; Credit Card Obligations Fell

Article excerpt

Byline: Kevin Wack

U.S. consumers in the first quarter borrowed more to pay for education and automobiles, but overall their debt burden was relatively flat, according to a new report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

The report, released Tuesday, found that student loan balances rose by $32 billion, to $1.19 trillion, when compared with the last three months of 2014. Auto loan debt rose by $13 billion, to $968 billion.

But the expansions in those two sectors were muted by a lack of growth in the $8.17 trillion market for housing debt; mortgage balances rose by a measly $1 billion in the quarter, and balances on home equity lines of credit were unchanged.

In a news release, New York Fed economist Andrew Haughwout attributed the sluggish growth in housing debt to tight standards on mortgage lending.

The amount of credit card debt outstanding fell by $16 billion in the first quarter to $684 billion, according to the report. …

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