Household debt in America has been reshaped in ways that could potentially affect how financial experts are able to help manage a consumer’s liabilities. The overall debt of U.S. households is $100 billion smaller than it was in 2008. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, it also looks a lot different now than it did then.
Mortgage debt remains the largest debt burden. However, its share of household debt has declined along with that of credit card debt, while the share of student loan debt and auto loan debt has grown.
By the end of 2016, mortgage debt accounted for 71 percent of household debt, down from almost 79 percent in 2008. Student debt had more than doubled since 2008 and more than tripled since 2003 to 10.4 percent.
Auto loan debt had a 9.2 percent share at the end of 2016, which is approximately one-third larger than it was in 2008. All three types of debt had larger shares of households’ income than credit card debt.
All of this means that housing debt fell $1 billion from its peak in 2008 of $9 trillion, while student loan debt rose $700 billion and auto debt rose $350 billion.
Financial experts attribute the change in household debt to a change in the demographics of U.S. debt. Households that are headed by those 60 years old and older now account for just over 22 percent of outstanding U.S. debt, which is up from 16 percent in 2008.
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