United States household debt has taken ten years to surpass the level of 2008, before the financial crisis let the credit bubble burst and average Americans were caught out in the open. The brunt of debt is in housing. In Q1 2017 housing debt, mainly mortgages, stood at $9.08 trillion. This is still slightly below the 2008 mark of $9.99 trillion in Q3 2008.
It's the non-housing debt (e.g. autos, credit cards and student loans) that pushed the overall level to $12.73 trillion, exceeding the peak in 2008 of $12.68 trillion. The biggest share of non-housing debts are student loans, which make up 10.6 percent of the overall debt load, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.