Student Loan Debt Statistics | The bank rate

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There is currently over $ 1.7 trillion outstanding student debt in the United States, with over 42 million Americans currently holds federal student loans.

Paying for college isn’t getting easier, and student debt can keep borrowers from buying homes, getting married, or expanding their families. Here is a breakdown of student loan debt with the most recent numbers and how you can meet them.

Key statistics on student debt

  • 42.8 million Americans have federal student debt.
  • In total, the United States has $ 1.73 trillion in unpaid student debt.
  • The average borrower has $ 37,175 in federal student loan debt.
  • Student loans are the second tallest type in consumer debt, lagging behind in mortgage debt.
  • 92.11% of student loan debt is federal, while 7.89 percent is private.

The American student debt crisis

College costs continue to rise, forcing borrowers to graduate with thousands of dollars in student debt. Data from Federal Reserve shows that the total outstanding student debt has increased by around 80% since 2011.

Year Total student debt outstanding (in millions)
2011 $ 959,823.95
2012 $ 1,054,565.11
2013 $ 1,145,550.75
2014 $ 1,235,751.47
2015 $ 1,320,248.14
2016 $ 1,405,332.16
2017 $ 1,488,895.49
2018 $ 1,570,539.65
2019 $ 1,646,377.28
2020 $ 1,702,599.57
2021 (year to date) $ 1,732,222.28

Source: The Federal Reserve

Student loan debt and COVID

Student loan debt – and higher education in general – has been significantly affected since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. According to Federal Reserve data and MeasureA:

  • Student debt growth slowed in 2020; debt increased by $ 75,837.63 million in 2019, while it only increased by $ 56,222.29 million in 2020.
  • Before the pandemic, the percentage of outstanding private student loans that were at least 90 days past due was 1.1%. In the second quarter of 2020, this percentage fell to 0.72% and fell further to 0.66% in the third quarter.

Student debt and the CARES law

The CARES law was implemented as a means of alleviating the financial pressure of the pandemic. One of the provisions was a hiatus on federal student loan payments and collection activities, which is currently in place until January 31, 2022.

most recent report from the United States Office of Federal Student Aid (FSA) noted that in March 2021:

  • More than 23 million borrowers of direct loans are in a situation of forbearance, with more than 99% of these balances in the forbearance of the CARES law.
  • About $ 938 billion in direct loans are in forbearance.
  • Only 500,000 borrowers of direct loans are in a repayment situation and withdraw from the flexibilities of the CARES law.

Individual Student Loan Debt Statistics

Here’s how student loan debt in the United States affects individual borrowers:

  • The largest group of student loan borrowers is the 25-34 age group, while 2 million borrowers are 24 or younger.
  • In the class of 2019, 62 percent of high school students graduate with student loan debt.
  • In 21 states, the average student debt was over $ 30,000 for the Class of 2019, and over $ 35,000 in five states.
  • Average student debt over a 15-year period increased by about 56 percent, exceeding inflation.
  • During the 2018-19 academic year, about 43 percent of full-time undergraduates received financial assistance in the form of student loans.
  • The estimated average budget for undergraduates for the 2020-21 school year was $ 18,550 for two-year public students in the district, $ 26,820 for four-year public students in the state, $ 43,280 for four-year public out-of-state students and $ 54,880 for four-year private nonprofit-year students.

Student debt and mental health

Student debt can have a big impact on a borrower’s mental health. Feelings of anxiety and stress can coincide with any long-term debt, especially if the debt hinders the ability to meet important financial milestones, like saving for a house or buying a car.

Federal statistics on student debt

Federal student loans are offered by the US Department of Education, rather than private lenders. They are a good first choice for any student considering student loans, and they represent over 90 percent of the US student debt portfolio.

Student loan debt by type of loan

All new loans issued by the federal government are part of the Direct Loan Program: Direct Subsidized Loans, Direct Unsubsidized Loans, Graduate PLUS Loans, Parent PLUS Loans, and Direct Consolidation Loans. For this reason, direct loans make up the largest portion of the federal student loan portfolio. However, there are still borrowers who are repaying older loans from the Perkins program or the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFEL).

Here’s how the total loan amount has changed for each type of loan over the past two years:

Direct Subsidized (in billions) Direct Unsubsidized (in billions) Grad PLUS (in billions) Parent PLUS (in billions) Perkins (in billions) Consolidation (in billions)
2019 – Q1 $ 276.8 $ 490.9 $ 71.3 $ 89.8 $ 6.9 $ 515.6
2019 – Q2 $ 280.0 $ 503.5 $ 70.7 $ 93.9 $ 6.6 $ 521.8
2019 – Q3 $ 277.4 $ 504.2 $ 71.9 $ 92.9 $ 6.3 $ 528.4
2019 – Q4 $ 280.7 $ 516.0 $ 75.2 $ 96.1 $ 6.1 $ 536.1
2020 – Q1 $ 279.6 $ 516.3 $ 75.3 $ 95.6 $ 5.9 $ 542.4
2020 – Q2 $ 282.9 $ 528.5 $ 78.8 $ 99.4 $ 5.6 $ 547.7
2020 – Q3 $ 282.3 $ 529.1 $ 79.5 $ 98.3 $ 5.4 $ 550.2
2020 – Q4 $ 285.7 $ 539.8 $ 82.8 $ 100.8 $ 5.2 $ 552.1
2021 – Q1 $ 285.2 $ 539.4 $ 82.7 $ 100.3 $ 4.9 $ 552.6
2021 – T2 $ 289.8 $ 552.7 $ 86.3 $ 103.6 $ 4.7 $ 554.7
2021 – Q3 $ 288.7 553.5 $ 87.3 $ 102.8 $ 4.3 $ 554.5

Source: US Department of Education

Student loan debt by state

Federal student loan debt varies from state to state depending on the size and number of schools in each state. The three states with the lowest student debt per borrower are North Dakota, Wyoming, and Iowa; in each of these states, the average student debt per borrower is less than $ 31,000. The three states with the highest student debt per borrower are Maryland, Georgia and Virginia, where the average debt per student is near or over $ 40,000. Washington, DC, has the highest average debt per student overall at $ 55,220.

The table below summarizes each state’s total federal student loan balances, number of borrowers, and average federal student debt per borrower as of June 30, 2021.

State Federal debt (in billions) Number of borrowers (in thousands) Average federal debt per borrower
Alabama $ 23.1 618.4 $ 37,354
Alaska $ 2.3 66.6 $ 34,535
Arizona $ 30.9 868.4 $ 35,583
Arkansas $ 12.8 381.7 $ 33,534
California $ 142.7 3 852.4 $ 37,042
Colorado $ 28.2 759.4 $ 37,135
Connecticut $ 17.1 482.3 $ 35,455
Delaware $ 4.7 123.4 $ 38,088
District of Colombia $ 6.4 115.9 $ 55,220
Florida $ 98.9 2,562.2 $ 38,600
Georgia $ 67.4 1608.1 $ 41,913
Hawaii $ 4.4 119.5 $ 36,820
Idaho $ 7.1 214.4 $ 33,116
Illinois $ 61.0 1598.2 $ 38,168
Indiana $ 29.6 892.6 $ 33,162
Iowa $ 13.1 426.0 $ 30,751
Kansas $ 12.4 376.2 $ 32,961
Kentucky $ 19.5 589.7 $ 33,068
Louisiana $ 22.1 636.8 $ 34,705
Maine $ 6.1 182.7 $ 33,388
Maryland $ 35.4 820.1 $ 43,165
Massachusetts $ 30.3 876.4 $ 34,573
Michigan $ 50.6 1392.2 $ 36,345
Minnesota $ 26.3 774.1 $ 33,975
Mississippi $ 16.0 431.0 $ 37,123
Missouri $ 29.2 819.2 $ 35,645
Montana $ 4.2 123.7 $ 33,953
Nebraska $ 7.8 241.9 $ 32,245
Nevada $ 11.6 341.3 $ 33,988
New Hampshire $ 6.4 185.9 $ 34,427
New Jersey $ 41.7 1,165.0 $ 35,794
New Mexico $ 7.7 225.0 $ 34,222
new York $ 91.6 2 404.1 $ 38,102
North Carolina $ 48.2 1268.4 $ 38,001
North Dakota $ 2.5 84.8 $ 29,481
Ohio $ 61.8 1765.2 $ 35,010
Oklahoma $ 15.2 478.1 $ 31,793
Oregon $ 20.0 535.8 $ 37,327
Pennsylvania $ 63.8 1779.4 $ 35,855
Rhode Island $ 4.5 139.7 $ 32,212
Caroline from the south $ 27.6 712.5 $ 38,737
South Dakota $ 3.6 112.7 $ 31,943
Tennessee $ 30.9 843.9 $ 36,616
Texas $ 117.3 3,535.6 $ 33,177
Utah $ 9.9 302.2 $ 32,760
Vermont $ 2.8 75.3 $ 37,185
Virginia $ 41.9 1,059.4 $ 39,551
Washington $ 27.7 775.3 $ 35,728
West Virginia $ 7.2 222.9 $ 32,301
Wisconsin $ 23.0 713.2 $ 32,249
Wyoming $ 1.6 52.9 $ 30,246

Source: US Department of Education

Private Student Loan Debt Statistics

Private student loans are offered by online lenders, banks, and credit unions. While private student loans should only be taken out after the potential for federal aid has been exhausted, they still represent nearly a tenth of America’s student loan debt. Here’s how private student loans contribute to overall student debt levels in the United States, according to MeasureOne Private student loan report:

  • As of March 31, 2021, total private loan debt outstanding stood at $ 136.31 billion, or 7.89% of total student loan debt in the United States.
  • Undergraduate loans accounted for 88.73% of that total number, while graduate loans accounted for 11.27%.
  • 3.12% of unpaid balances were withheld, compared to 7.04% in the second quarter of 2020.
  • 2.46% of outstanding balances in repayment were at least 30 days past due.

Student loan debt by degree

Higher degrees are expensive, but the investment could pay off. Here’s what you need to know before taking out graduate student loans, according to the Brooking Institute and MeasureA:

  • About 25 percent of all undergraduates graduate with less than $ 20,000 in student debt; borrowers who leave school with more than $ 57,500 have almost always borrowed for graduate school.
  • About 25 percent of all student loan borrowers are graduate students.
  • Graduate students account for roughly half of the total outstanding student debt in the United States
  • Those who obtain a graduate degree may earn a higher annual income and have increased job security.
  • Graduate students are less likely to fall into delinquency with private loans; 2.56 percent of undergraduate repayment balances are at least 30 days past due, while 1.7 percent of graduate repayment balances are at least 30 days past due.

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