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The Center for Household Financial Stability at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis sought to answer this question in a newly released issue of In the Balance. The report focuses on the demographics — including age, race and education — of those who become delinquent on loans.
Following a lengthy deleveraging period, total debt is on the rise across the nation. The increases represent more economic activity as consumers take on new liabilities to finance consumption. Read more about student loan, credit card, mortgage, auto, and home equity lines of credit debt in the newly launched Quarterly Debt Monitor.
Loan delinquency rates differ sharply from one demographic group to the next. Read the working paper by Center Senior Economist William R. Emmons and Senior Analyst Lowell Ricketts, that outlines structural and systemic factors important to understanding this financial behavior.
For the story, Center Senior Economist William R. Emmons gives his perspective on the state of American household finances. The article highlights a survey from the Federal Reserve Board that shows 47 percent of respondents would have a difficult time finding $400 to pay for an emergency.