Household Debt: Record High


If you want to be free, pay off your debt.

The total debt shouldered by Americans has hit another record high, rising to $13.5 trillion in the last quarter, while an unusual jump in student-loan delinquencies could provide another signal that the nation's economic expansion is growing old.

Flows of student debt into serious delinquency — of 90 or more days — rose to 9.1 percent in the third quarter from 8.6 percent in the previous quarter, according to data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

It was a reversal after a period of improvement for student debt, which totaled $1.4 trillion. Such delinquency flows have been rising on auto debt since 2012 and on credit card debt since last year, which could raise a red flag for economists.

The world's largest economy has grown well above potential this year on the back of strong consumer spending and the lowest unemployment rate since the 1960s. If growth continues for another year it will be the longest ever.


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