Even with rampant inflation and rapidly accelerating interest rates, household borrowing climbed to start 2022 and hit a new record, the Federal Reserve reported Tuesday.
Consumer debt and credit rose 1.7% in the first quarter to $15.84 trillion. The rise in total household credit was propelled largely by a $250 billion increase in mortgage debt, which now stands at $11.18 trillion, an increase of 10% from the first quarter in 2021.
Credit card balances actually fell during the three-month period by $15 billion but still remained $71 billion, or about 9% higher than they were for the same period a year ago. Auto loan originations declined in the first quarter after what the New York Fed described as “a historically brisk 2021,” in which used vehicle prices soared by nearly 27%.
Student loan debt climbed by $14 billion in the first quarter, bringing the annual increase to 6.5%.