Skip to content

St. Louis Fed's Quarterly Debt Monitor: Auto Lending Soars, Mortgage Debt Declines


ST. LOUIS ― Auto loans and student debt continue to be the fastest growing debt categories reported in The Quarterly Debt Monitor. Auto debt grew at an average rate of 8 percent across the nation and throughout St. Louis, Little Rock, Louisville and Memphis in the second quarter of 2016, according to the report from the Center for Household Financial Stability at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.   

“Serious delinquency rates for mortgage and credit card debt declined in both the four MSAs and the nation,” the report states. “However, the fraction of auto and student debt that is seriously delinquent jumped by a significant margin in both Louisville and Little Rock. In contrast, serious delinquency rates fell for all types of debt in St. Louis…”

Authors Don E. Schlagenhauf and Lowell R. Ricketts looked at auto, mortgage, credit card and student loan debt, as well as home equity lines of credit (HELOC) for the nation and the four largest metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) in the Eighth Federal Reserve District: Little Rock, Ark., Louisville, Ky., Memphis, Tenn., and St. Louis.

 “Despite mostly falling (delinquency) rates, Memphis continues to have the highest serious delinquency rate across all types of debt,” among the MSAs, the report states.

The authors also examined consumer debt trends in rural, or nonmetropolitan, areas throughout the District. Many similarities emerged; however, average mortgage and student debt balances in the MSAs exceed those of nonmetropolitan areas.

For the full text of the second issue of The Quarterly Debt Monitor, visit the Center for Household Financial Stability online.  For further information on individual MSAs or for general media inquiries, please contact Laura Taylor at 314-444-8783 or