American household debt increases by $78 billion: report

A new report found that American households increased their total debt by $78 billion in the third quarter of 2023.

The study, released Tuesday by WalletHub, found the average amount of total debt owed by U.S. households at $145,319 at the end of the third quarter. It is $13,631 below the all-time high, set back in 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,” John Kiernan, the Managing Editor at WalletHub, said in a statement emailed to The Hill.

“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 continued.

The collective debt owed by U.S. households heading into the fourth quarter of 2023 is $17.3 trillion, the report said.

The report also looked at different types of debt owed. It found that household mortgage debt increased by around $20 billion in the third quarter, a drastic change from the quarter before, in which it increased by around $273 billion.

It also found total credit card debt increased to around $1.08 trillion in the third quarter of 2023, up from about $1.04 billion in the second quarter. This quarter’s total credit card debt is down $189 billion from the all-time high set back in the fourth quarter of 2008.

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