Hey there, fellow knowledge seekers! You’re in good company if you’re navigating the wild world of student loans. Student loan debt has been a hot topic for years, and as we kick off 2023, it’s time to take a peek at the latest stats that shape this financial landscape.
Grab your coffee or tea, settle in, and prepare for a semi-casual and enlightening journey through the nine student loan debt statistics you need to know this year. Whether you’re a fresh-faced graduate, a seasoned professional, or just curious about the state of student debt, we’ve got the facts you’ll want to chew on.
We often think of student loans as something young adults grapple with, but the truth is that student loan debt is a journey that spans the ages. Here’s a glimpse of how it all breaks down:
24 and Younger
The fresh-faced crowd, aged 24 and younger, start their financial journey with an average balance of $13,722.22. Those college years can leave a mark, but it’s just the beginning.
25 to 34
Things start to heat up as we move into the 25 to 34 age bracket. The average debt for this group jumps to $32,707.48. The early stages of careers and adulting often come with higher loan balances.
35 to 49
In the prime of life, between 35 and 49, folks are carrying an average of $44,441.67 in student loan debt. Balancing family, career, and those lingering loans can be quite the juggling act.
50 to 61
As we hit the 50 to 61 age group, the average debt continues to rise, reaching $47,660. The golden years might be approaching, but those loan payments are still a part of the picture.
62 and Older
And finally, our seasoned veterans aged 62 and older carry the highest average balance at $49,375. It goes to show that student loans can follow you through various stages of life.
When it comes to the student loan journey, it turns out that women and men have slightly different paths:
Nearly half of all women, that’s 47%, find themselves navigating the world of student loan debt. Education is a priority for many, but it often comes with a financial cost.
On the other side of the coin, 40% of men also have their fair share of student loan debt. It’s clear that both genders are striving for higher education and taking on loans to make it happen.
Student loan debt isn’t colorblind, and it’s important to understand how it varies across different racial groups:
Half of Black adults, or 50%, find themselves carrying student loan debt. On average, they’re managing a balance of $9,800. Education is a pathway to opportunity, but it often comes with a price tag.
Slightly fewer white adults, 44%, have student loan debt on their shoulders. Their average balance is $8,700. Education knows no color, and white adults are also navigating the financial challenges of higher learning.
Among Hispanic/Latino adults, 37% have student loan debt. Their average balance stands at $7,000. Education is a universal goal, and this group is working to achieve it while managing their financial obligations.
Have you ever wondered just how much student loan debt is floating around out there? Well, we’ve got the scoop from the U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid office, and it’s all about the dollars and the borrowers. Keep in mind that these numbers are hot off the press as of the second quarter of 2023, except for the servicer info, which got a March 2023 update.
Direct Loans: Picture this—$1,446 billion in the hands of 38.3 million borrowers.
FFEL Loans: Not too shabby at $194.7 billion, held by 8.7 million borrowers.
Perkins Loans: These weigh in at $3.7 billion, spread among 1.2 million borrowers.
Total Federal: Drumroll, please! A whopping $1,644.5 billion shared among 43.6 million borrowers.
Loan Debt: Who Owes What?
Stafford Subsidized: A cool $296.2 billion, shouldered by 30.3 million borrowers.
Stafford Unsubsidized: Zooming up to $584.9 billion, with 30.7 million borrowers feeling the weight.
Stafford Combined: A grand total of $881.1 billion split among 34.9 million unique recipients.
Grad PLUS: Clocking in at $100.7 billion and distributed among 1.7 million borrowers.
Parent PLUS: Holding $111.7 billion with 3.7 million borrowers in the mix.
Perkins: Steady at $3.7 billion, with 1.2 million borrowers involved.
Consolidation: A whopping $547.3 billion shared by 10.7 million borrowers.
Loan Status: The Whereabouts of Loans
Loans in Repayment: Only $10.1 billion on the line for 0.3 million borrowers.
Loans in Deferment: $113.8 billion with 3.1 million borrowers taking a breather.
Loans in Forbearance: The big kahuna here—$1,082.2 billion causing some stress for 26.7 million borrowers.
Loans in Default: $101.4 billion giving 4.6 million borrowers sleepless nights.
Loans in Grace Period: A more manageable $18.4 billion on the radar for 1.0 million borrowers.
Level Repayment Plan (10 Years or Less): $211.2 billion split among 10.7 million borrowers.
Level Repayment Plan (Greater than 10 Years): $77.3 billion, and 1.8 million borrowers are in it for the long haul.
Graduated Repayment Plan (10 Years or Less): $84.8 billion, with 2.9 million borrowers playing the short game.
Graduated Repayment Plan (Greater than 10 Years): $15.7 billion, and 0.3 million borrowers in the slow lane.
Income-Contingent (ICR): $39.0 billion, where 0.8 million borrowers are letting their income call the shots.
Income-Based (IBR): $162.9 billion, and 2.6 million borrowers are taking it step by step.
Pay As You Earn (PAYE): $113.5 billion, with 1.5 million borrowers keeping it chill.
Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE): A hefty $197.1 billion with 3.3 million borrowers staying flexible.
Alternative: $44.2 billion with 1.3 million borrowers going down their unique path.
Juggling $1.3 billion in repayments and $9.0 billion in deferments, serving 2.89 million forbearances, 0.22 million in-school borrowers, and 0.05 million in grace.
Handling $1.3 billion in repayments, $39.0 billion in deferments, $335.7 billion in forbearances, 1.92 million in-school borrowers, and 0.35 million in grace.
Playing with $3.1 billion in repayments, $22.9 billion in deferments, $263.2 billion in forbearances, 0.75 million in-school borrowers, and 0.15 million in grace.
Managing $4.0 billion in repayments, $24.5 billion in deferments, $298.5 billion in forbearances, 1.30 million in-school borrowers, and 0.18 million in grace.
Navigating $0.7 billion in repayments, $15.3 billion in deferments, $76.8 billion in forbearances, 1.26 million in-school borrowers, and 0.18 million in grace.
Handling loans like a pro with $0.0 billion in repayments, $4.9 billion in deferments, $14.5 billion in forbearances, 0.55 million in-school borrowers, and 0.12 million in grace.
Federal Student Loan Statistics by Age
Student loans might seem like a rite of passage for the young, but the truth is, they follow us well into adulthood, and sometimes even retirement. Here’s a glimpse of how they stack up by age:
24 or Younger
The fresh faces in the student loan arena, aged 24 or younger, are carrying a total of $110 billion in federal student loans. It’s a collective journey for 7.6 million borrowers in this age group.
25 to 34
In the hustle and bustle of early adulthood, those aged 25 to 34 are managing a hefty $500 billion in federal student loans. That’s the majority of people in this age bracket, with most owing between $10,000 and $40,000.
35 to 49
The middle-age crew, aged 35 to 49, is carrying the lion’s share at $622 billion in student loans. Interestingly, this group has the highest number of borrowers who owe more than $100,000 in loans, showing that the quest for knowledge knows no age limits.
50 to 61
As we hit our fifties, the collective federal student loan balance stands at $282 billion for 6.4 million borrowers. Education remains a lifelong pursuit for many.
62 and Older
Even in the retirement years, the weight of student loans lingers. There are 2.4 million borrowers aged 62 or older who together owe a total of $98 billion in federal student loans. It’s a reminder that the pursuit of knowledge and financial responsibility can transcend generations.
Ever wondered how student loan debt stacks up across the good ol’ U.S. of A? We’ve got the lowdown, courtesy of a LendingTree analysis of over 150,000 credit reports from December 2022. Brace yourself; these numbers might surprise you!
District of Columbia
Taking the crown with an average balance of $60,037. Yep, D.C. knows how to carry a loan.
Not far behind, Marylanders are holding steady at $53,141 on average.
In the Peach State, folks are balancing an average of $50,390 in student loans.
Sunshine and student loans! Floridians carry an average of $50,005.
The First State ranks fifth, with an average loan debt of $48,863.
Roll tide and roll loans! Alabama comes in at $47,612 on average.
The state for lovers, and apparently, a bit of student loan debt, averaging $47,507.
Up in the Northeast, New Hampshire residents owe an average of $47,072.
The Land of Lincoln doesn’t shy away from student debt, with an average of $46,575.
Magnolia State, magnolia-sized debt. The average here is $45,940.
When it comes to student loans, it’s not just the federal ones causing waves. Private student loans have their own story to tell, and here’s a snapshot of the scene as of the first quarter of 2023:
Total Private Student Loan Debt
Americans are juggling a hefty $128.77 billion in private student loans. That’s about 7.3% of the entire student loan debt pie, which includes both federal and private loans.
A select group of lenders takes the lion’s share of this private debt. The Enterval Analytics Private Student Loan Report features 14 key contributors, including big names like Citizens Bank, Discover Bank, Navient, PNC Bank, Sallie Mae Bank, SoFi, College Ave Student Loans, Navy Federal Credit Union, and six members from the Education Finance Council. Together, they’re responsible for a whopping $58.48 billion total of that $128.77 billion.
Who Owes What?
Among these 14 contributors, undergraduate students have the lion’s share, with 88.93% of the outstanding balance. Graduate students are handling the remaining 11.07%.
Wondering how these loans are faring? As of the end of the first quarter of 2023, the majority (76.3%) are in repayment, while 19.3% are in deferment, 3.0% enjoy a grace period, and 1.4% are in forbearance.
About 1.44% of these private student loans are showing some signs of trouble, being 90 days or more delinquent. It’s a slight uptick from 1.30% the previous year, indicating that keeping up with payments is still challenging for some borrowers.
When it comes to private student loans, many borrowers had a trusty cosigner by their side during the 2022-23 academic year. A whopping 90.30% of undergraduate students and 65.42% of graduate students had someone cosigning their educational dreams.
When it comes to loan forgiveness, PSLF is the real MVP. Here’s what’s been happening with this game-changing program:
As of March 2023, a whopping 2,018,181 borrowers have filled out one or more approved PSLF employment certification forms, and they still have a positive loan balance to their name.
PSLF means paperwork, and there’s been no shortage of it. A total of 5,462,098 PSLF forms have been submitted, with 3,139,959 successfully completed.
Loan Freedom Achieved
The moment we’ve all been waiting for—unique borrowers who’ve been granted PSLF, including PSLF itself, Temporary Expanded PSLF (TEPSLF), and the waiver, now stand at 500,519. That’s quite the jump from 388,216 as of January 2023.
The Big Forgiven Average
For those who’ve had their loans forgiven under PSLF, TEPSLF, and the waiver, the average amount waved goodbye to is $68,547. Not much of a change from the $68,707 average we saw in January 2023.
And there you have it, folks—nine student loan debt statistics to fuel your financial conversations and keep you in the know for 2023. From the staggering total debt figures to the nuances of who owes what and where it’s clear that student loans are here to stay as a significant financial player in our lives.
But hey, remember, statistics are just numbers on a page. What truly matters are the stories, the dreams, and the individuals behind those loans. So, as we navigate the ever-evolving world of student debt, let’s keep the conversation alive and human because behind every statistic is a person with aspirations and ambitions. Stay curious, stay informed, and here’s to a brighter financial future!
Federal student loans are backed by the government, offering benefits like income-driven repayment plans and forgiveness options. Private loans come from banks and lenders, often with higher interest rates and fewer borrower protections.
To qualify for PSLF, you need to make 120 qualifying payments while working full-time for a qualifying employer, typically in the public or nonprofit sector. After 120 payments, your remaining federal student loan balance may be forgiven.
Yes, you can explore options like income-driven repayment plans, which cap your monthly payments based on your income. Refinancing your loans with a private lender can lower your interest rate and monthly payments.
Federal student loan interest rates vary by the type of loan and are set annually by Congress. Check the U.S. Department of Education’s website for the most up-to-date rates or contact your loan servicer.
Yes, you can consolidate federal student loans through a Direct Consolidation Loan. It combines multiple federal loans into one, simplifying your payments. However, private loans cannot be consolidated with federal loans.