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Mortgage debt levels decline among US consumers

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U.S. consumers remain in debt, but mortgage and home equity debt levels among borrowers fell 3.1% in the first quarter with homeowners owing $8.4 trillion, Equifax claims in a recent report.

Compare that to non-mortgage debt levels – which rose 7.1% to $2.5 trillion – and it’s clear debt levels are falling on the housing side while picking up in other parts of the economy.

Equifax data shows consumer debt falling overall to $10.92 trillion in the first quarter, down from $11.02 trillion a year earlier.

Much of this decrease is attributed to mortgage debt write-offs and consumers paying down their mortgages.

"It is encouraging to see credit demand and supply continuing to come into balance," said Trey Loughran, president of Equifax Personal Solutions. "Lack of access to credit impedes growth, and access to credit keeps the wheels of the economy moving."

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