U.S. Household Debt Tops Pre-Recession Peak

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. household debt reached a record high in the first three months of this year, topping the previous peak reached in 2008.

Americans have stepped up borrowing over the past three years, yet the nature of what Americans owe has changed since the Great Recession. Student and auto loans make up a larger proportion of household debt, while mortgages and credit card debt remain below pre-recession levels.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York says household debt, which also includes auto loans and home equity lines of credit, stood at $12.73 trillion in the first quarter. The figure isn’t adjusted for inflation or population size.

The New York Fed says Americans are more likely to be paying down their debts than before the downturn.