New Yorkers’ personal household debt is on the rise, accounting for the fourth-largest chunk of the US total — and delinquencies on consumer debt and mortgages are of particular concern, according to a recent government report.
At the end of last year, Americans amassed a total of $15.6 trillion in household debt. New York accounted for 5.6% of the total calculated by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, or $869.4 billion, placing it fourth in the nation.
California, the largest state in terms of population, led the nation in national average household debt. Texas, Florida, New York, and Illinois — four of the top six most populous states in the country — round out the top five.
On the positive side, the office of Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli released a report this week indicating that New Yorkers were carrying an average household debt of $53,830 as of the fourth quarter of last year — still below the national average of $55,810. New Yorkers also tend to be higher earners than the average Americans, so they are able to take on more debt than most.
Nevertheless, the state was still well above the national average when it comes to student loans and credit card debt per capita.
“Households across the nation have record levels of debt, after a temporary decline at the onset of the pandemic in 2020,” DiNapoli said. “We’re seeing debt rise for New Yorkers with student loans, mortgages and credit cards.”
The per capita credit card debt in New York State was $3,520 last year — seventh in the country, according to the comptroller’s office. While nationally credit card debt made up a 5.5% share of all household debt, the number in New York State was higher — 7%, as per the report.
Meanwhile, New York’s delinquency rate of 2.1% of all consumer debt exceeds the national average of 1.9%, according to the report. The New York delinquency rate for mortgage loans at 0.9% is nearly double the 0.5% national rate, the report said.
According to DiNapoli’s office, average household debt has rose by 4% nationally and 2% in the Empire State during the first two quarters of this year — outpacing the previous highs that were set in 2008.
The vast majority of household debt both nationwide and statewide was made up by mortgage debt, according to the Thursday report.
In New York, 69.2% of residents’ average household debt — or $601.2 billion — was owed to lenders for mortgage payments. Nationwide, that figure was 70.2% — or $10.9 trillion.
DiNapoli added: “Borrowing can help individuals achieve their personal and financial goals, but high levels of debt can cause damaging long-term consequences.”
“I urge policymakers to improve access for individuals and families to financial education resources, so they are better prepared to build a stronger financial future.”