Living in debt is the reality for the vast majority of American adults. By far, mortgages make up the largest share of U.S. household debt. As of the third quarter of 2018, U.S. housing debt stood at $9.56 trillion out of a record-breaking $13.51 trillion of total consumer debt, according to the latest data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
Since the Great Recession, debt and repayment trends have changed significantly, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. “Older borrowers now hold a larger share of total outstanding debt balances, while the shares held by younger borrowers have contracted and shifted toward auto loans and student loans,” Donghoon Lee, a research officer at the bank, said in November in a statement announcing the release of the New York Fed’s latest quarterly report on household debt and credit.
Student loan debt, fueled by the skyrocketing cost of higher education, has become so cumbersome for young adults that it has made it more difficult for them to buy homes, the most common way Americans build wealth.
In 2010, student loan debt (from both federal and private lenders) surpassed credit card debt as the second largest source of household debt. Today, outstanding student loans account for 9.1% of all household debt, nearly double the 4.9% owed on credit cards, according to the New York Fed. A 2016 report from the U.S. Federal Reserve Board estimated that in the previous 10 years, the average real (inflation adjusted) student loan debt portfolio nearly doubled, to $27,000 from $19,000.
It is no wonder, then, that there are many options for consolidating or refinancing mortgages and student loans.
24/7 Wall St. reviewed recent reports form popular personal finance websites like NerdWallet and Bankrate, as well as personal finance media reports that considered different lenders that can help you refinance your mortgage or student loan debts. This list of select lenders for refinancing and consolidating debt for 2019 focuses mainly on two of the largest sources of consumer debt: mortgages and student loans.