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This Mind-Blowing Debt Graphic Will Probably Make You Sad

May 14, 2014

Recession-scared households have learned to stop worrying and love the loan.

According to new figures from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, household debt climbed $129 billion in the first quarter of 2014 to $11.65 trillion, marking the third consecutive quarterly increase since the recession. This chart offers a pretty glaring hint as to what form of borrowing is leading the rebound:

Debt Source: FRBNY Consumer Credit Panel

Student loans have more than quadrupled in value since 2003, racking up another $31 billion in loans last quarter. Housing loans also increased by $116 billion thanks to lower rates of foreclosures.

But the new figures also suggest a lingering sense of unease with heavy borrowing (student loans notwithstanding). Credit-card balances dropped $24 billion last quarter and new originations of mortgages fell for a third quarter straight.

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