Top student loan debt statistics
- The federal student loan balance is $1.7 trillion
- Federal student loan debt makes up more than 93% of all student loan debt in the USA
- 30% of undergraduate students borrow federal loans
- 66% of graduate students borrow federal loans
- The average borrower has a student loan debt of $37,338
- 1 in 5 adults in the USA still have student loan debt from their undergraduate degree
- 7% of adults in the USA have student loan debt from their graduate degrees
- 22% of adults in the USA have paid off their student loan debt
- The student loan debt balance has grown by 3.4% over the last 5 years
Student loan debt by degree
Read the full report on student loan debt by degree type here.
- Across all advanced degrees, debt from graduate school alone averages $88,212
- By the time they graduate, the average law school student owes $180,000 in total student loan debt
- The average medical school graduate in the USA pays a total of $273,000 to pay off their student loans (including interest)
|Degree type||Avg. amount borrowed|
Student loan debt by age
Read the full report on student loan debt by age here.
- Since 2017, the average student loan debt has increased:
- 6.1% for 25 to 34-year-olds
- 17.9% for 35 to 49-year-olds
- 25.6% for 50 to 61-year-olds
- 25.6% for those 62 and older
- The average student debt for 35-year-olds is 287% greater than the original value of their loan
|Generation||% of federal debt||Total no. of borrowers|
|Gen Z||6.40%||7.4 million|
|Gen X||38.74%||14.6 million|
|Silent generation||6.55%||2.6 million|
Student loan debt by gender
Read the full report on student loan debt by gender here.
- The majority of student loan debt, 58%, is held by women
- Female graduates have an average student loan debt that is 9.6% higher than their male peers one year after graduation
- Women take an average of two additional years to pay off their student loans compared to men
- Women with a bachelor’s degree earn only 81% of what men with a bachelor’s degree earn, making it more difficult for them to meet their student loan repayments
|Gender||Loan Amount 12 Months After Graduation|
Student loan debt by race
Read the full report on student loan debt by race here.
- Black students owe more on average than any other racial or ethnic group tracked by the US Federal Reserve
- It has been speculated that this in part may be because undocumented students are not eligible for federal student loans but can still attend college
- In 1989, Black students had less student loan debt than any other racial group
- 30 years on, this trend has reversed to the point where Black students hold more debt than any other group on average
Student loan debt by income level
Read the full report on student loan debt by income level here.
- The top 25% of earners owe 34% of the total student loan debt balance
- Households earning in the top 40% owe 60% of all student loan debt
- Households earning in the bottom 40% owe 20% of all student loan debt
- Mississippi is the state where the average student has the most debt as a percentage of the average income for a graduate
- Massachusetts is the state with the least student loan debt as a percentage of the average income for a graduate
- Washington DC has the highest income but also has a substantial student loan debt of an average $55,077 per borrower
|Bracket #||Annual income||Average student debt|
|1||up to $33,769||$32,518|
|2||$33,770 – $65,036||$42,774|
|3||$65,037 – $121,318||$43,399|
|4||$121,317 – $216,371||$51,529|
Student loan debt over the years
Read the full report on student loan debt by year.
- The amount Americans owe in student loan debt has tripled from 2007 to 2022
- The average student loan debt per borrower has increased from $21,071 in 2017 to $40,000 in 2022
- There are 16 million more people with student loan debt in 2022 than there was in 2007
- Even adjusted for inflation, the average student loan debt at graduation is now more than 4 times what it was in 1970
|Year||Student loan debt ($ trillion)|
Student loan debt statistics by state
Read the full report on student loan debt by state.
- With a total debt of $141.8 billion, California is the state with the largest student loan debt in the country.
- This means California residents hold a total of 9.42% of all student debt in the USA
- This is followed by Texas and Florida, each of which owes more than $100 billion
- New York, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, and North Carolina round out the top 10
|State||Total Debt ($ Billion)|
Student loan repayment statistics
Read the full report on student loan repayment statistics.
- Prior to the CARE Act, the average monthly student loan repayment was $460
- Federal guidelines suggest that 10% – 36% of a borrower’s salary should go towards repaying student loans
- There are 2.5 million 60+ years old Americans that are still making student loan payments
- On average, it takes borrowers 20 years to repay their student loan in full
- As much as two-thirds of what a borrower repays can be interest that has accrued on the original loan
|Time to pay off student debt||Estimate of those with debt||Time taken in reality|
|< 1 year||2%||8%|
|1 to 5 years||17%||46%|
|6 to 10 years||18%||26%|
|11 to 15 years||12%||7%|
|16 to 20 years||10%||5%|
|21 to 25 years||6%||2%|
|26 to 30 years||4%||1%|
|30 years or longer||7%||0%|
Student loan interest rate statistics
Read the full report on student loan interest rate statistics.
- The average student loan borrower will pay $26,000 in interest over the course of 20 years repaying their student loan
- Of the total amount a student repays over the course of their loan, 67.1% will be interest payments.
|Loan||Borrower||Interest rate||Loan fee|
|Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans||Undergraduate||4.99%||1.057%|
|Direct Unsubsidized Loans||Graduate or Professional||6.54%||1.057%|
|Direct PLUS Loans||Parents and Graduate or Professional Students||7.54%||4.228%|
Student loan debt default and delinquency statistics
Read the full report on student loan debt default and delinquency statistics.
- 7% of all borrowers are in default – around 3 million people
- After entering repayment post-graduation, 11% of borrowers default within the first year – meaning over 1 million borrowers default each year
- Within 5 years of entering repayment – this number jumps to 25%
- Borrowers had defaulted upon $124.4 billion by the end of 2022
|Year||3-year default rate (%)|
Student loan forgiveness statistics
Read the full report on student loan forgiveness statistics.
- $38 billion worth of student loans have been forgiven since the start of 2021
- This has impacted 1.6 million borrowers
- This leaves the average amount forgiven at $20,000 per borrower
- $14.9 billion worth of student loans have been forgiven through Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)
- $6.5 billion has been forgiven using the Total and Permanent Disability Discharge program