The Federal Reserve Bank of New York finds
consumers with student loan or credit card debt, for example, have
“negative wealth” compared to their assets. A share of households in the U.S. have total debt that exceeds their assets, known as “negative wealth.” Researchers
from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York asked consumers about their household finances in
conjunction with the Survey of Consumer Expectations in August 2015.
The Survey of Consumer Finances is conducted monthly and there have been
two household finance surveys to supplement it, including in August
2014. The researchers, from the Fed’s Research and Statistics
Group, Senior Vice President Wilbert van der Klaauw, Senior Economist
Giacomo De Giorgi, Assistant Vice President Olivier Armantier and former
senior research analyst Luis Armona estimated overall that “15.1
percent of the households in the U.S. population have net wealth less
than or equal to zero, while 14 percent have strictly negative wealth.” More info here.