US households had record debt when the coronavirus hit. Things are likely to get worse

Before the coronavirus pandemic spooked the stock markets, shook the economy and turned the financial lives of millions of people upside down, household debt in the US had already hit a record high.

The New York Federal Reserve reported Tuesday that debt held by US households rose by 1.1% to $14.3 trillion during the first quarter. That's $1.6 trillion higher than the previous peak of $12.7 trillion reached in 2008.

The report looked at consumer debt and credit data as of March 31. By that time, coronavirus shutdowns were already in place around much of the country. But given the month lag in reporting by the credit accounts used in the analysis, the report does not reflect the potential impact in the second half of March.

Anna Bahney | CNN Business

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