The Record-Breaking Debt Burden of American Households

American households have accumulated a record-breaking $12.84 trillion of debt.

Sep 15, 2017

According the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, American households have accumulated a record-breaking $12.84 trillion of debt. While this is astonishing in itself, what is perhaps more interesting is how the nature of this debt has changed since the Great Recession.

Before the 2008 financial crisis, households were primarily borrowing to finance the purchase of their homes, and while that is still the case, there has been a large shift towards non-housing debt, such as auto and student loans. The growth in auto and student loan debt has important implications for households and policy makers, especially as the delinquency rates for both continue to rise.

Watch this month’s Economic Video Update with Robert Spendlove, Economic and Public Policy Officer for Zions Bank, to get his insight into these trends and what he sees going forward.

The division of Economics and Public Policy at Zions Bank informs and educates employees, clients, and the community-at-large by providing insight and analysis on issues related to local, national and global economic trends as well as federal banking policies. The primary goal of the Economic and Public Policy team is to help individuals and businesses understand important issues that can impact their daily financial decisions. For more information and analysis, please visit

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