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Mortgage, auto loans push household debt to 5-year high

November 19, 2015

Accelerating increases in auto loan debt and mortgage credit helped propel total borrowings of U.S. households to the highest level in more than five years, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said Thursday.

Household debt rose by 1.8 percent, or $212 billion, in the third quarter, to $12.07 trillion, the most since the first quarter of 2010, according to the New York Fed’s quarterly report on household debt and credit.

Auto loan balances rose 11.9 percent from a year earlier, to $1.05 trillion, reaching the highest level since the survey began.

“The growth in auto loan balances and originations has been very robust,” New York Fed Research Officer Donghoon Lee said in a written statement. “Credit conditions have remained attractive for auto purchasers with both prime and subprime credit.”

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