New Report Shows Consumer Debt Grew Slower in Hawaii than the Nation in the Past Four Quarters

Posted on Oct 18, 2019 in News

For Immediate Release: October 18, 2019

HONOLULU—The Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) today released a report, “Hawaii Consumer Debt Report: 2019 Update,” which shows that total consumer debt increased 2.3 percent for Hawaii consumers between the second quarter of 2018 and the second quarter of 2019, lower than the 4.1 percent increase at the national level. It is only the second year DBEDT has subscribed to the data to create the report. This is a continuation of DBEDT using a data-driven, knowledge-based tool to more effectively grow Hawaii’s economy toward diversification. Among the consumer financing methods; bank cards, home equity lines of credit, and personal loans were more popular in Hawaii while auto loans and student loans were more popular on the U.S. mainland than in Hawaii.

“The consumer debt growth rate of Hawaii was lower than that of the national average. Also, delinquency rates are lower than the U.S. average in most of the loan categories, which shows that residents are managing their debt responsibly and is a reflection of the values of Hawaii’s people,” said DBEDT director Mike McCartney.

Chief State Economist Dr. Eugene Tian noted that the category with the highest growth in consumer debt between the second quarter of 2018 and second quarter of 2019 was personal loans for both Hawaii at 11.2 percent and the nation at 11.7 percent. The growth in Hawaii’s personal loans was due to a combination of higher average balance and the number of accounts, a 4.5 percent increase and 6.5 percent increase, respectively. In contrast, the increase in personal loans at the national level was due primarily to an increase in the number of personal loans of 11 percent during the same period.

Between the second quarter of 2018 and second quarter of 2019, home equity loans was the category with the second highest growth in debt for Hawaii, at 7.9 percent. For the nation, the bank cards category had the second highest growth in debt at 6.0 percent.

Following are some of the highlights of the report:

  • During the second quarter of 2019, Hawaii had a total of $84.4 billion in consumer debt, accounting for 0.6 percent of the total U.S. consumer debt of $14.0 trillion during that period.
  • Among the scored consumers, the average debt per person in Hawaii was $68,656, which was over $20,000 higher than the national average of $47,034 during the second quarter of 2019.
  • For Hawaii consumers, mortgage debt comprised the largest share of total consumer debt, at approximately 76 percent of total consumer debt in Hawaii, compared to 69 percent at the national level. However, in the nation and in Hawaii, only about 18 percent of the scored consumers had mortgage debt.
  • Home equity lines of credit (HELOC) were about 5.2 percent and home equity loans were about 1.6 percent of the total consumer debt in Hawaii. Proportions of these categories were considerably lower in the nation, at 3.0 percent for a HELOC and about 1 percent for a home equity loan.
  • Auto loans and auto leases in Hawaii comprised 5.2 percent of consumer debt compared to 9.3 percent in the nation. The percentage of consumers with auto loans or leases reflected this divergence, with 23.1 percent in Hawaii having an auto loan or lease compared to 30.4 percent nationally.
  • The total balance on bank cards as a share of total debt was 4.9 percent in Hawaii compared with 5.9 percent in the nation. On average, Hawaii consumers carried 1.8 bank cards, higher than the national average of 1.6 cards.
  • Student debt proportion to total debt was another area of divergence between consumer debt in Hawaii and the nation. Student debt was about 5 percent of the total Hawaii consumer debt, while for the nation that proportion was at 10 percent. In Hawaii, 34 percent of consumers had a student loan balance during the second quarter of 2019, while more than 49 percent of the U.S. consumers had student loan balances during the same period. Student loans were the one credit category where Hawaii had a higher delinquency rate than the nation.

The analysis in the report is based on data from Experian Information Solutions, Inc. DBEDT started the data series in 2017 and plans to continue subscribing to the data and updating the report on an annual basis to monitor the status of Hawaii consumer debt and its relationship with the status of the economy.

The report is available here Acrobat file

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About the Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism (DBEDT)
DBEDT is Hawaii’s resource center for economic and statistical data, business development opportunities, energy and conservation information, and foreign trade advantages. DBEDT’s mission is to achieve a Hawaii economy that embraces innovation and is globally competitive, dynamic and productive, providing opportunities for all Hawaii ’s citizens. Through its attached agencies, the department fosters planned community development, creates affordable workforce housing units in high-quality living environments, and promotes innovation sector job growth.

Media Contacts:

Dr. Eugene Tian
Research and Economic Analysis Division
Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism
(808) 586-2470

Charlene Chan
Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism
Phone: (808) 587-9006