American Households Increase Total Debt by $78 Billion in Q3

Nov 22, 2023Financial Literacy, News

A new report released by WalletHub found that American households increased their total debt by $78 billion during the third quarter of this year. The average amount of total debt U.S. households owed  was $145,319 at the end of the third quarter, which is $13,631 below the record high, set during the fourth quarter of 2008.

“Consumers typically rack up the most debt during the fourth quarter of the year as we spend excessively on holiday gifts and travel, so it’s not a good sign when we enter the final few months of the year with a lot of new debt,” said WalletHub’s Managing Editor John Kiernan in an emailed statement as reported by The Hill.

The report found that the collective debt owed by U.S. households going into the fourth quarter of the year is $17.3 trillion. Household mortgage debt rose by about $20 billion in the third quarter, a significant change from the previous quarter when it increased by nearly $273 billion.

Additionally, the report found that total credit card debt increased to roughly $1.08 trillion in the third quarter, up from about $1.04 billion in the second quarter. Total credit card debt for the third quarter is down $189 billion from the record high set in the fourth quarter of 2008.

“Given how Q3 played out, WalletHub is now projecting that U.S. households will end the year with $350+ billion more debt than they started with,” Kiernan said.

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