All over the internet and on every news station, you will either find or hear quite possibly one of the most quoted statistics in modern times. No, it isn’t the U.S. Government debt toll, but you aren’t too far off the mark!
Student loan debt. It’s one stat that is currently gripping the nation at a hefty $1.4+ trillion. It’s got plenty of people worried including students, graduates, parents, employers, and politicians alike. Well, it is not to be understated to say the least; in fact, it is the second leading form of debt in the United States behind mortgage debt (another monster to worry about elsewhere).
Student loan debt is a popular issue, to be sure, depending on your definition of popular, of course. As a news outlet, staying up-to-date on statistics is crucial just like any other industry. With that being said, here is my summarization of (and research for) reported student loan debt statistics. If you happen to have any questions about where these statistics come from or see something missing that might be a great addition, then feel free to contact me!
Page Last Updated: 3/2/18
Before delving into the nitty-gritty details, it is best to give an overall snapshot of the current student loan debt situation. Here are a few statistics that will give you a better idea of where the nation stands with its second leading form of debt:
· National Student Loan Debt - $1,410,000,000,000 ($1.41 trillion)
· Overall Number of Student Loan Borrowers – 45,000,000 (~70%of college students)
· Student Loan Default Rate – 11.5%
· Student Loan Delinquency Rate – 5.41%
· Average Debt Per Student Borrower - $27,975
(Resource: Federal Reserve Bank of New York Consumer Credit Panel/Equifax, Federal Student Loan Portfolio)
A significant portion, and majority, of outstanding student loans are supplied by the Federal government, or more specifically the Department of Education. There are various different types of loans available to anyone who fills out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Here is a comprehensive breakdown on funding and participation in Federal student aid programs.
Federal Funding Distribution by Loan Program
|Loan Program||Outstanding Debt (billions)||Portion of Total Debt||Borrowers (millions)||Portion of Borrowers|
|Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL)||$313||23.4%||15.2||30.5%|
Federal Funding Distribution by Loan Type
|Loan Type||Outstanding Debt (billions)||Portion of Total Debt||Borrowers (miilions)||Portion of Borrowers|
Federal Distribution by Loan Payment Status
|Loan Repayment Status||Outstanding Debt (billions)||Portion of Direct Loan Debt||Borrowers (millions)||Portion of Direct Loan Borrowers|
Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL)
|Loan Repayment Status||Outstanding Debt (billions)||Portion of FFEL Debt||Borrowers (millions)||Portion of FFEL Borrowers|
|Grace Period||$0.30||0.10%||< 0.10||< .01%|
Federal Repayment Plan Distribution
|Repayment Plan||Outstanding Debt (billions)||Portion of Direct Debt||Borrowers (millions)||Portion of Direct Borrowers|
|Level Repayment (<10 Years)||$207||27.0%||11.3||48.9%|
|Level Repayment (>10 Years)||$77.0||10.0%||1.71||7.38%|
|Graduated Repayment (<10 Years)||$77.1||10.0%||2.87||12.4%|
|Graduated Repayment (>10 Years)||$13.7||1.78%||0.30||1.29%|
|Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR)||$26.1||3.40%||0.62||2.67%|
|Income-Based Repayment (IBR)||$170||22.1%||2.96||12.8%|
|Pay As You Earn (PAYE) Repayment||$58.5||7.62%||1.11||4.79%|
|Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE)||$82.6||10.8%||1.59||6.86%|
Federal Family Education Loan
|Repayment Plan||Outstanding Debt (billions)||Portion of FFEL Debt||Borrowers (millions)||Portion of FFEL Borrowers|
|Level Repayment (<10 Years)||$24.5||43.0%||2.34||54.8%|
|Level Repayment (>10 Years)||$2.28||4.00%||0.07||1.64%|
|Graduated Repayment (<10 Years)||$7.19||12.6%||0.62||14.5%|
|Graduated Repayment (>10 Years)||$0.01||0.02%||<.01||<.001%|
|Income-Sensitive Repayment (ISR)||$0.05||0.09%||<.01||<.001%|
|Income-Based Repayment (IBR)||$22.4||39.2%||1.23||28.8%|
(Resource: Federal Student Loan Portfolio)
Private student loans are growing in popularity since reaching an all-time low in the academic years of 2010-2011.
While federal student loans still eclipse private lending by a landslide, private alternatives are becoming more viable options for students as the dynamic market drives interest rates. Students also take out non-federal loans from third parties such as state governments and institutions.
In addition, many graduates take advantage of student loan refinancing and consolidation once they graduate to save on their private student loans.
· National Non-Federal Student Loan Debt - $11,600,000,000 ($11.6 billion)
· Number of Non-Federal Student Loan Borrowers - 1.37 million (~6% of borrowers)
· Non-Federal student loan debt is down 55.0% since the crisis in 2007-2008; however, total outstanding debt has increased by 38.1% since the all-time low in 2010-2011. (see table below)
(Resources: The Institute for College Access & Success. Trends in Student Aid 2016 from The College Board.)
· 40% of the overall student loan debt total is accounted for by graduate borrowers. ($563 billion)
· Six graduate programs account for 61.8% of graduate student loan debt.
|Degree Program||Portion of Grad Debt|
|Master of Science||18.1%|
|Master of Arts||7.70%|
(Resource: Trends in Student Aid 2014 from The College Board. National Postsecondary Student Aid Study)
Average Student Loan Debt Per Graduate by State
Many prospective college students assume that they have to deal with a hefty sum of student loan debt, and while the national average student loan debt per graduate supports this assumption, the state-by-state breakdown tells a much different story.
Students who pick the right state can increase the chances of minimizing their student debt after graduation. Here are the overall state rankings in terms of average student loan debt per graduate.
|Rank||State||Avg Debt Per Grad|
|Rank||State||Avg Debt Per Grad|