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Summary: Household Debt and Credit Developments in 2023Q21

Recent Fed report on the debt situation and a summary is below along with key actions servicers are taking to manage the potential risks.

Aggregate household debt balances increased by $16 billion in the second quarter of 2023, a 0.1% rise from 2023Q1. Balances now stand at $17.06 trillion and have increased by $2.9 trillion since the end of 2019, just before the pandemic recession.

BalancesMortgage balances shown on consumer credit reports were largely unchanged from the previous quarter, during the second quarter of 2023 and stood at $12.01 trillion at the end of June.

Balances on home equity lines of credit (HELOC) were essentially flat as well; the outstanding HELOC balance stands at $340 billion. Credit card balances increased by $45 billion, a 4.6% quarterly increase, and now stand at $1.03 trillion.

Auto loan balances increased by $20 billion, continuing the upward trajectory that has been in place since 2011. Other balances, which include retail cards and other consumer loans, increased by $15 billion.

Student loans balances declined by $35 billion. Student loan balances now stand at $1.57 trillion. In total, non-housing balances grew by $45 billion.


Mortgage originations, measured as appearances of new mortgages on consumer credit reports and including both refinance and purchase originations, were at $393 billion in 2023Q2, an uptick from the 9-year low observed in the previous quarter. The volume of newly originated auto loans, which includes leases, was $179 billion, largely reflecting high dollar values of originated loans even as the number of newly opened loans remains below pre-pandemic levels.

Aggregate limits on credit cards were increased by $90 billion in the second quarter, or a 2.0% increase from the previous quarter. Limits on home equity lines of credit (HELOC) were up by $6 billion, or a 0.7% increase.

The median credit score for newly originated mortgages increased by 4 points, to 769. The median credit score on newly originated auto loans declined by 5 points, after a transitory uptick in the first quarter.

Delinquency & Public Records

Aggregate delinquency rates were roughly flat in the second quarter of 2023 and remained low, after declining sharply through the beginning of the pandemic. As of June, 2.7% of outstanding debt was in some stage of delinquency, 2 percentage points lower than the last quarter of 2019, just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States.

The share of debt newly transitioning into delinquency increased for credit cards and auto loans, with increases in transition rates of 0.7 and 0.4 percentage points respectively.

Credit cards balances saw the most pronounced worsening in performance in 2023Q2 after a period of extraordinarily low delinquency rates during the pandemic.

Transition rates for credit cards and auto loans are now slightly above pre-pandemic (2019Q4) levels. Early delinquency transition rates for mortgages edged up by 0.1 percentage point but remain well below its pre-pandemic level.

Student loan performance was unchanged, with reported delinquency rates at historic lows as the federal repayment pause remains in place until August 31, 2023.

About 114,000 consumers had a bankruptcy notation added to their credit reports in 2023Q2, slightly more than in the previous quarter.

Approximately 4.6% of consumers have a 3rd party collection account on their credit report, with an average balance of $1,555, up from $1,316 in the first quarter, reflecting composition changes in 3rd party collections amid new credit reporting regulations.

Housing Debt

• There was $393 billion in newly originated mortgage debt in 2023Q2, reflecting a modest increase in purchase originations as refinance originations have slowed.

• About 39,000 individuals had new foreclosure notations on their credit reports, a very small increase from the first quarter. New foreclosures have stayed very low since the CARES Act moratorium was lifted.

Student Loans

• Outstanding student loan debt stood at $1.57 trillion in 2023Q2.

• Federal student loan payments remain suspended until October 2023 and missed payments on federal student loans will not be

reported to credit bureaus until 2024Q4. Because of these policies, less than 1% of aggregate

Key strategies and actions that loan servicers should consider to manage the risks highlighted in the data are as follows: 1. Monitor credit card balances: Given the significant increase in credit card balances, loan servicers should closely monitor credit card delinquency rates and implement proactive measures to manage potential risks. This may include targeted outreach to borrowers with high balances or offering financial education programs to promote responsible credit card usage. 2. Assess auto loan portfolios: With the continued upward trajectory of auto loan balances, loan servicers should conduct regular assessments of their auto loan portfolios. This involves monitoring delinquency rates, evaluating borrower creditworthiness, and implementing effective risk management strategies to mitigate potential losses. 3. Address student loan delinquency: Although student loan balances declined, it's important for loan servicers to address potential delinquencies as federal repayment pause ends. They should develop strategies to assist borrowers in resuming payments and provide necessary support, such as repayment plans and loan modification options. 4. Monitor mortgage originations: Loan servicers should closely monitor mortgage originations, particularly as refinance originations slow down. They should evaluate the creditworthiness of new borrowers, assess the risk associated with the mortgage market, and ensure robust underwriting practices to maintain a healthy mortgage portfolio. 5. Stay updated on regulatory changes: Loan servicers need to stay informed about regulatory changes, such as credit reporting regulations and federal policies related to student loans. This will help them comply with reporting requirements and adapt their practices accordingly. 6. Proactive communication and assistance: Loan servicers should maintain open lines of communication with borrowers, offering support and guidance during challenging times. Providing clear information on repayment options, loan modifications, and financial counseling can help borrowers manage their debt effectively. 7. Strengthen risk management practices: Loan servicers should enhance their risk management practices by regularly assessing credit risk, stress testing loan portfolios, and implementing appropriate mitigation strategies. This includes establishing early warning systems, conducting scenario analysis, and strengthening collections and recovery procedures. By implementing these key strategies and actions, loan servicers can proactively manage the risks associated with household debt and credit, ensuring the financial well-being of borrowers and minimizing potential losses.

Matt Slonaker Founder & CEO of M. Allen (M) 972.740.4300 (E) (W)

Ps: the full report is below:

Download PDF • 2.30MB

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