New York Fed Report Shows Decline in Collection Accounts… Or Does It?

On November 16, 2018, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (New York Fed) released its quarterly household debt and credit report. The report used a nationally representative sample of individuals as well as anonymized credit data from Equifax. In the third quarter of 2018 (Q3), total household debt increased by $210 billion. According to the New York Fed’s press release, this is the seventeenth consecutive quarter of increase.

For outstanding non-mortgage debt, student loans remain the behemoth. As of Q3, the student loan balance is $1.44 trillion, an increase of $37 billion since last quarter. Auto loans followed with a balance of $1.27 trillion, an increase of $27 billion since last quarter. Credit cards trailed with a balance of $844 billion, an increase of $15 billion since last quarter.

The release also includes the chart below, which shows the annualized shares of balances that transitioned into serious delinquency (90 days or more). Student loans had the highest rate of increase in serious delinquency since last quarter.

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