Household debt rises to $14.6 trillion due to record-breaking rise in mortgage loans


People count money at Macy’s Herald Square store in New York.

Andrew Kelly | Reuters

Total consumer debt rose to nearly $14.6 trillion as 2020 came to a close, pushed by a record-breaking rise for mortgages in the red-hot housing market, according to a Federal Reserve report Wednesday.

Debt increased 1.4% for the final three months, representing another $206 billion as households took advantage of low interest rates and continued fiscal and monetary stimulus.

Mortgage debt passed $10 trillion for the first time and rose at the fastest pace in the fourth quarter since 2006. The quarterly increase of $182 billion culminated a year in which homeowners took advantage of low rates to refinance…


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