Over the past 30 years, the price of higher education has been rising rapidly.
According to data from U.S. News, even though recent grads in 2021 who obtained loans to pay for their education did so on average $208 less than they did the year before, the average overall student debt is still hovering around $30,000.
Public four-year colleges saw an increase in tuition from $4,160 to $10,740 during that time, while private nonprofit institutions saw an increase from $19,360 to $38,070. (adjusted for inflation).
The demand for student loans and other types of financial aid has increased along with costs.
More than half of students today graduate from college in debt. Here’s a quick look at how much the typical student borrows, the most popular loan types, and how those loans are repaid.
(Sources: EducationData.org, Statista, Forbes.com, US News, Federal Reserve, CollegeBoard)
Average Student Loan Debt: General Stats
- Around $1.745 trillion in student loan debt is owed in the US at the moment.
- The typical student borrows $28,950 in loans.
- There are 44.7 million students who have borrowed money overall.
- 55% of four-year students at public institutions had student loans.
- 57% of students at private, nonprofit, and four-year institutions reported having student loan debt.
- Over $40,780 in student loan debt is the average amount owed.
- The typical federal student loan debt is $37,787.
- Over 1.617 trillion dollars worth of federal student loan debt, or 92.7% of all student loan debt, is still unpaid.
- Federal student loan debt is held by 42.8 million loan borrowers.
- Less than 2% of private student loans will default as of 2021.
- To obtain a bachelor’s degree, public school students typically borrow $32,880.
- Since 2007, the amount owed on federal student loans has greatly increased.
- One in three adults applied for a loan to cover their college expenses.
- The average student debt is also impacted by the institution type. Private college graduates from 2021 ($31,820) borrowed an average of more money than graduates from public colleges (26,320).
- Rates of interest for federal loans during the first half of 2022 ranged roughly from 3.7% to 6.3%, depending on the type of loan.
- Simple configuration interest rates for private student loans range from 3 to 4% on the lower end of the scale to 10-13% on the upper end.
- Students of colour and those of Hispanic descent are more likely than the general population to borrow money to pay for their education and have greater difficulty repaying those loans.
- The normal student loan balance per month is $393.
- According to CollegeBoard data, the average debt on student loans in 2019–20 was $288,400.
- Average debt from student loans has been discovered to be higher for higher-income families.
- Black families have the highest levels of student loan debt when compared to other racial groups.
- Recent data from EducationData.org show that between 2019 and 2021, the average debt on student loans rose by $5,697.
|Average loan debt on student||$38,400|
|Monthly average student debt payment||$400|
|Total loan debt on student||$1.76 trillion|
|Number of student loan takers||43.3 million|
|Number of borrowers who has a debt of more than $100,000||2.7 million|
Student Loan Debt Statistics
- The total federal student loan debt increased by 1.52% YoY in the second financial quarter of 2022, which is the lowest rate of growth in the twenty-first century.
- The average student loan borrower in the US has a college debt of $32,731, according to the Federal Reserve.
- Over 15% of all American adults are in debt from their undergraduate studies.
- While 7% of adults have unpaid student loans for graduate work.
- Among adults, 24% have paid off their student loan debt.
- The annual growth rate of student loan debt over a five-year period is 3.79%.
- By 166.9%, the average rate of increase in student loan debt exceeds the rate of tuition increase.
- The national student loan balance decreased between 2022 Q1 to 2022 Q2, falling by 0.12%.
- Additionally, 92.7% of all student loan debt in 2022 Q1 was owed to the federal government, while 7.3% belonged to private borrowers.
- As of the second quarter of 2022, the quarterly rate of growth has been boosted by 146.5% since the first quarter of 2020.
Let’s have a look at the average student loan debt over the years (2007-2022)
|Year||Average Student Loan debt|
- The biggest quarterly decline in a decade, federal student loan debt decreased by 0.27% in 2022 Q.
- In Q3 2022, the average federal debt grew by $119.94.
- Between the second quarters of 2017 and 2022, the federal portion of the total student loan debt balance increased by 3%.
- Students at private, for-profit universities borrow $42,551, while those at private, non-profit universities borrow $35,983.
- A student loan balance is owed by 96% of borrowers with unpaid debt for their own academic achievement, and 88% of borrowers have debt for the education of a child or grandchild.
- 26% of borrowers who took out loans to pay for their own education have balances under $10,000.
- A bachelor’s degree costs $32,880 on average to borrow for at public universities.
- 31.8% of undergraduate students took out federal loans in a single year.
Following is the in-depth overview of student loan debt quarterly.
|Quarter||Total||YoY Change in %|
Federal Student Loan Debt
Talking about the Federal loan debt of students, 30% of undergraduates borrow money from the federal government.
- Student loans make up 92.6% of all borrowing for undergraduates.
- Stafford loans account for 52.8% of the total amount owed on federal student loans.
- Additionally, Stafford loans with subsidies make up 18.6% of the federal debt, while those without subsidies make up 34.2%.
- Parents are liable for 6.4% of the student loan debt, including any loans they have taken out.
- 0.4% of all student loans are Perkins loans.
- The Grad Plus loans combine 5% of a student’s overall student loan debt for graduate or professional students.
- Every year, the federal government provides loans totalling $83.68 billion to all postgraduate universities and graduate students.
- Federal loans are taken out by 30% of undergrad students.
- Federal loans are taken out by graduate students at a rate of 66%.
- 43 million debtors, the majority of whom take out loans from the federal government, have $1447 in unpaid student loan debt.
According to EducationData.org, the federal student loan debt as per the 2021 fourth quarter includes the following:
|Federal loan debt on students||$1.58 trillion|
|The average amount to be paid||$36,500|
|Share all student loans made||93%|
|Parent PLUS Loans as a percentage of total student loan debt||6.5%|
|Amount lent to postsecondary students overall each year||$45 billion|
Private Student Loan Debt
- According to EducationData.org, 8.4% of total student loan debt comprises private loan borrowing.
- Over $140 billion worth of private student loans are outstanding nationwide.
- Undergraduate loans account for 88% of the remaining balance, while graduate student loans make up 11.5%.
- 12.9% of students take out loans for education from private lenders like banks and credit unions.
According to information gathered by MeasureOne as of September 30, 2021, the breakdown of private student loan debt is as follows:
|Private student loan debt||$131.10 billion|
|Private loans as a share of total student loan debt||7.61%|
|Share of all private student loans made to undergraduates||88.69%|
|Share of all private student loans made to graduate students||11.31%|
Other Educational Debt
- 24% of student loan debtors who are in debt also owe money for their education.
- Credit card debt is owed by 19% of borrowers with unpaid student loans for education and 12% of borrowers who are borrowing on behalf of others.
- Home equity loans were used by 4% of borrowers with debt to finance their own education, and other types of loans were used by 11% of borrowers.
- Home equity loans were used by 9% of debtors who borrowed money to pay for the education of a child, and other types of loans were used by 11% of them.
Student Loan Debt Statistics: Demographics
- Federal student loans were accepted by 54.1% of individual undergraduate students.
- Federal loans are most frequently taken out by middle-class students (58.4%).
- Federal loans are used by 63.6% of students who reside in on-campus housing.
- Federal loans are accepted by 39.7% of college students who live with their parents.
- Of married graduates who took out loans, 52.0% did so.
Student Loan Debt Statistics By Gender
- With a bachelor’s degree, 61.4% of women prefer federal student loans.
- Federal loans are accepted by 53% of male bachelor’s degree holders.
- Compared to men with bachelor’s degrees, women borrow 4.27% more in student loans.
- Female students are 49.9% more than male students to take out federal student loans when pursuing an associate’s degree.
- It has been observed that compared to men, women use a greater portion of their earnings to pay off student loan debt.
- Associate’s degree holders who are female take out 24.9% more in student loans than those who are male.
- Compared to just 36% of men, undergraduate women have a debt burden of 41%.
- The least rate of student loan debt is among Asian men, and their student loans only account for up to 65% of their first year’s earnings.
- After graduation, Black women student loan borrowers owe $37,600 in debt.
- Women who have taken out student loans typically owe $22,365 when they graduate. When they graduate, men need to pay $18,880 in student loan debt on average.
Student Debt Statistics By Race and Ethnicity
- African American or Black students have the highest rate of federal loan borrowing among bachelor’s degree holders (76.1%).
- Postsecondary Caucasian or white students have the highest rate of private loan borrowing (7.1%).
- American Indian and Alaska Native students are the least likely to borrow privately among all postsecondary students (2.6%).
- Graduate students who take on debt for graduate school make up 22% of white students and 40% of Black students.
- Asian Americans typically have the lowest percentage of their first year’s income consumed by student debt, while African-Americans have the highest percentage.
|Race||Men||Average student debt Men||Women||Average student debt Women|
Student Loan Debt Statistics By Age
- 33.9% of adults between the ages of 18 and 29 say they owe money on student loans.
- Debtors in their 30s are responsible for 32.5% of the national student loan debt.
- 22% of people aged 31 to 44 report having student loan debt.
- Federal student loans totaling $40,600 are owed by the typical 62-year-old borrower, including Parent PLUS loans.
- The average debt of borrowers between the ages of 25 and 34 is $33,500
- Under 25 years old makeup 24% of federal loan borrower students who are in debt.
- In the federal sector, 8.15% of borrowers are over the age of 63.
- By the age of 30, 21% of people with a bachelor’s degree and 37% of those with an associate’s degree had defaulted on at least one student loan.
- The age range of 48% of federal borrowers is 24 to 34.
- Federal borrowers under 25 have an average debt of $15,000.
- The age group with the most federal student debt is around 35 to 49 years old, with $634.2 billion.
Following is the overview of a number of student loan borrowers by age (2023)
|Age group||Millions of borrowers||Billions in debt|
|24 and younger||7.3||$104.5|
- According to the data from nerdwallet.com, among the students who are 24 and younger, most of them have $5,000 and $40,000 of student debt.
- Moreover, students who are between 35 and to 49-year old are 2.97 million and have between $20,000 and $40,000 of student debt.
Average Student Loan Debt By State
- The average student loan debt for the class of 2017 in each state is $28,650, ranging from $18,838 to $38,510, according to data from The Institute for College Access and Success. Aside from Utah, almost all states have student debt rates of at least 45%.
- The average student loan debt for the Class of 2017 is $38,510, and it is highest in Connecticut.
- With an average student debt balance of $18,900 and a resident student loan debt rate of 38%, Utah has the lowest average student loan debt balance.
- 74% of the Class of 2017 students in New Hampshire, South Dakota, and West Virginia have student loan debt.
According to their average debt, the states are ranked in the table below based on their average student loan debt.
|9.||District of Columbia||$32,966|
Student Loan Debt By Degree Level
- Data from 2021 show that 58% of people with graduate degrees had student loan debt.
- 58% of people with bachelor’s degrees had student debt.
- 37% of those with technical degrees or some college experience are in debt from student loans.
- 39% of people with an associate’s degree had student loan debt.
- The borrowers who graduated in 2017–18 took out a median of $14,352 in student loan debt from the associate university grads.
- The average loan taken out by those with a bachelor’s degree was $23,200.
- Holders of master’s degrees took out loans worth, on average, $40,121.
- Doctoral degree holders borrowed an average of $73,423.
- Professional people with degrees borrowed an average of $144,500 in loans.
Following is data on the median amount borrowed per degree level of 2017-2018.
|Degree Type||Median amount borrowed|
|Professional degree (MD)||$168,277|
Student Loan Debt By School Type
Due to the higher cost of private schools, students attending private universities and colleges borrow more frequently.
According to data from CollegeBoard on bachelor’s degree receivers in 2019–20, the average student who attended a public versus private college owed the following amount of money:
|School Type||Average Debt|
|Public college or university||$26,700|
|Private non-profit college or university||$33,600|
- 25.3 million students attended public colleges and had outstanding federal student loan debt of $705.7 billion as of the end of the first quarter of 2022.
- In contrast to 11% of students who graduated from public schools and 7% of students attending private non-profit institutions, 24% of borrowers under 40 who attended for-profit institutions were in default on their loan payments as of 2021.
- More debt is owed by graduates of private, nonprofit colleges than by graduates of public universities.
- Graduates from for-profit institutions are more likely to have significant debt and trouble making payments.
- Private and public non-profit college students use federal student loans more frequently, indicating that students who attend profit-making colleges may rely more heavily on private loans, which have higher rates of interest.
Average student loan amount by debt type
|Debt type||Average debt|
|Bachelors degree debt||$28,400|
|Graduate school loan debt||$71,000|
|Parent PLUS loan debt||$28,778|
|Law school debt|
|MBA student debt||$66,300|
|Medical school debt||$203,062|
|Dental school debt||$301,583|
|Pharmacy school loan debt||$179,514|
|Nursing school student debt||$19,928: Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) |
$23,711: Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
$47,321: Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
|Veterinary school debt||$147,258|
Final Verdict: Average Student Loan Debt (2023)
So now that I have covered all the important numbers and facts about the average student loan debt. Now it’s your turn to understand them.
I hope I have covered all the stats regarding the average student loan debt. I have left something to mention, and then let us know in the comment section below.
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