GET GEPHARDT

Household debt reaches record high but inflation is masking debt progress

May 29, 2024, 10:34 PM | Updated: Jun 4, 2024, 1:20 pm

Credit cards...

Having credit card debt is never cheap, but there's some relief in sight this year. (Matt Cardy, Getty Images)

(Matt Cardy, Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — The amount Americans owe has never been higher. A new report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York shows household debt has climbed to a record $17.7 trillion. Household debt includes mortgages, student loans, car payments and credit cards among other types of loans.

But the latest economic numbers are not all doom and gloom for America’s debt solution.

“This year we are starting off with a debt decrease,” said Christie Matherne, an editor with personal finance website WalletHub.

Adjusted for inflation, Matherne said WalletHub has found total household debt actually decreased by $135 billion — a 6% drop compared to the same time last year.

“We’re not on a red a record debt payoff spree or anything,” Matherne said. “But we’re also not doing too bad paying down our debt either.”

Another gold nugget for economy wonks: WalletHub said the ratio between total household debt and assets continues to be at around 9.8%. Matherne says that’s a very healthy level.

“It’s really great news because like with everything costing so much right now, we could be in a lot worse shape than we are,” she explained.

Seeing a drop in debt in the first part of a year is not particularly rare with holiday spending behind us, but Matherne is optimistic the trend could have legs for the rest of this year.

“If your New Year’s resolution is to pay down your debt in a way that you haven’t before, please keep doing so,” she said. “It’s helping the economy. It’s helping you. It’s helping your monthly bottom line look a little better.”

Credit card debt is one place where we want to be careful. It went way down during the height of the pandemic. Just since the first half of 2022, it has climbed by over $210 billion.

Gephardt Busts Inflation: How to tackle credit card debt

Get Gephardt

(FILE) A test dummy getting hit by an air bag during a crash test....

Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage, KSL TV

Thousands of cars equipped with faulty airbags on Utah roads as automakers issues ‘Do Not Drive’ warnings

Auto manufacturers have recalled over millions of Takata airbags because of their potential to explode and shoot out sharp metal fragments. And there are still thousands of those in cars across Utah.

9 days ago

sprinkler sprays on green grass...

Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage

Get Gephardt: Layton man demands refund for decades of charges for water he can’t access

Imagine finding out you've been paying nearly 40 years for rights to water you're not only not getting, but that you can't get, because the pipes for it don’t exist.

10 days ago

Danielle Addicott showing KSL's Matt Gephardt the fraud charges that were on her Wells Fargo accoun...

Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage, KSL TV

Get Gephardt helps Utah woman who says her bank refused to refund stolen money

A Park City woman says thousands of dollars were stolen from her bank account, but the bank refused to cover her loss. She decided to Get Gephardt.

14 days ago

FILE - This combination of 2017-2022 photos shows the logos of Facebook, YouTube, TikTok and Snapch...

Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage

Scammers offer to help regain control of hacked social media accounts for a fee

People are advertising they can help you get back into your hacked social media accounts. It is a lie.

22 days ago

A Utah man purchased Aerosmith tickets back when the show was scheduled in 2023, but the show got p...

Matt Gephardt

Utahns fighting for refunds on postponed Aerosmith concert

A Utah man purchased Aerosmith tickets back when the show was scheduled in 2023, but the show got pushed to a day that no longer works for him. He decided to Get Gephardt when his quest for a refund hit a dead end.

24 days ago

The USDA estimates we toss out 30-40% of our food purchases, even though much of it is perfectly sa...

Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage, KSL TV

Food for thought: How understanding date labels can prevent food waste

The USDA estimates we toss out 30-40% of our food purchases, even though much of it is perfectly safe to eat. Decoding date labels could help you bust inflation.

29 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Household debt reaches record high but inflation is masking debt progress