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25 Student Loan Debt Statistics for 2021

College debt is without doubt one of the most severe monetary points Americans have been scuffling with for the previous 20 years. Student loan debt statistics present that in 2020, Americans owed over $1.5 trillion. Even with all of the monetary help, grants, and sponsorships, student debt continues to develop with yearly.

What is the common school debt within the United States? How many Americans go away school with loan debt? What are the states that wrestle with school loan debt probably the most? Discover these and lots of different stunning stats and details about US student loan debt.

Student Loan Debt Statistics (Editor’s Choice)

  • The student debt whole within the United States is over $1.5 trillion.
  • The US student loan debt grows by $2,858 each second.
  • 42.8 million Americans owe cash for his or her school schooling.
  • More than half of American students have to take out loans to pay for a school schooling.
  • 54% of White Americans managed to repay their school debt.
  • 31% of African Americans and 33% of Hispanic Americans carried no student debt in 2019.
  • 36% of Americans consider their schooling is extra pricey than helpful.
  • The common school loan debt within the United States in 2019 was $35,359.

Shocking Student Loan Debt Stats

Total US Student Loan Debt by Year

1. Total student debt within the USA was $1.4 trillion in 2019.

Official figures document fixed development of the debt through the years. For comparability, in 2018, it was $1.33 trillion, and in 2017 it was $1.28 trillion. In the interval 2016-2014, the annual school debt was $1.17 trillion, $1.13 trillion, and $1.06 trillion, respectively. The newest student loan information set the 2020 student loan whole at $1.5 trillion.

Only mortgage debt within the US is increased at $9.52 trillion. Official credit card debt stats present a complete quantity owed beneath $1 trillion, i.e., $0.81 trillion. The scenario is much like the private loan debt figures, which set the whole quantity owed by Americans at $0.30 trillion.


2. Every second within the United States, $2,858 in schooling debt is acquired.

Among probably the most stunning student loan debt details is the fast development of the quantities owed. Those enhance by nearly $3,000 each second. So, it comes as no shock that some early projections set the whole debt owed by students at $2 trillion by 2022.


3. 42.8 million Americans carried schooling debt in Q1 of 2020.

The variety of individuals with school schooling loan debt hasn’t modified considerably over the previous few quarters. Throughout 2019, the determine ranged 42.2-43.0 million. The final time the variety of debtors was beneath 42 million was in Q3 of 2016. Student Aid student loan details reveal {that a} whole of 41.5 million carried school debt throughout these 4 months.

(Student Aid)

4. In 2017, the common student debt amongst Americans was $37,172.

Here, there’s been an enchancment in comparison with the common school student debt in 2019. Namely, the common quantity owed in 2019 was decrease $35,359. Still, because the student loan stats present, this enchancment didn’t have an effect on the whole quantity owed, which is hovering.


5. The common in-state school tuition price is about $9,410.

By distinction, the personal faculty common tuition is far increased at $32,410. Those planning to attend a public 4-year in-state state school ought to count on tuition of about $10,230. Public 4-year out-of-state faculties have a better common of roughly $26,290.


Quick Student Loan Debt Facts

6. Over 50% of American students have to borrow cash to pay for his or her schooling.

According to official student loan statistics, 54% of Americans who wish to attend school should borrow cash to cowl schooling prices. In the previous, this determine was decrease by 11%. Namely, 43% of Americans who’ve accomplished their research wanted to borrow cash to pay for them. Most of the debtors (94%) take student loans, whereas 31% used different choices like house fairness traces or credit playing cards.


7. In 2016, the median student loan debt within the US for all debtors was about $17,000.

Pew Research Center highlights in its student loan details that the median student loan debt varies considerably relying on the schooling stage. For instance, the median school debt amongst Americans which have lower than a bachelor’s diploma is $10,000. Those with one in the meantime carry a median debt of $25,000. Finally, the median debt recorded amongst Americans with a postgraduate diploma is considerably increased at $45,000.

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(Pew Research Center)

8. In 2019, nearly half of Americans with school loan debt had paid off their loans.

More exactly, 47% of people that carried schooling debt had managed to pay it off fully, in response to the Federal Reserve’s student loan debt stats. 10% and 42% had been behind on their funds or had been nonetheless paying off school loans, respectively.

When specializing in schooling sort, those that attended personal not-for-profit faculties had been in one of the best scenario. In this class, 53% paid off their debt, 43% had present funds, and 5% had been behind on their funds. About 48% of students from public schooling and 38% of those that attended personal for-profit faculties managed to repay student loans. Approximately 22% of Americans at personal for-profit faculties had been behind on their funds in 2019.

(U.S. Federal Reserve)

9. The common month-to-month student loan funds in 2019 had been between $200 and $299.

The official US student loan debt statistics present that Americans paid $200-$299 in direction of their debt in each 2018 and 2019. This quantity is much like the month-to-month common of $200-$300 reported by the Federal Reserve in 2017. In all of the years talked about above, nearly 30% of the debtors weren’t required to make student loan funds.

(U.S. Federal Reserve)

10. As of February 2020, solely 2,828 out of 178,624 PSLF functions had been authorised.

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program exists to assist Americans cope with schooling debt. Still, student loan debt statistics present that this system is repeatedly failing candidates. Namely, out of just about 180,000 functions, 163,476 had been deemed ineligible. Only 2,828 had been authorised, and 12,338 had been pending processing. Qualifying funds (59%), lacking data (23%), and no eligible loans (14%) had been the commonest causes for rejecting PSLF functions.

The figures reveal a seemingly important discharged stability for individuals whose PSLF functions had been authorised. These functions totaled $108,126,451. Still, this determine is a small fraction of the $1.5 trillion whole student loan debt recorded within the newest school debt statistics. The common discharged stability per borrower was $62,501.

(Student Aid)

11. On common, the tutoring prices within the public four-year sector have grown by 2.2% every year.

A research by the College Board locations the tutoring price enhance price per yr at 2.2%. This share applies to the interval between 2009-2020. These increased schooling prices are thought-about one of many predominant causes for the frequently rising student loan debt.

(College Board)

12. It takes between 10-30 years for American students to repay schooling debt.

Among probably the most stunning student loan details is that it takes about ten years for individuals to repay loans beneath $7,500. According to Student Aid, if the quantity borrowed is at the very least $60,000, then the projected reimbursement interval is 30 years. In the Student Aid desk, the remainder of the reimbursement intervals vary between 12 and 25 years for $7,500-$60,000 quantities.

(Student Aid)

Average Student Loan Debt by Age

13. Student loan debt for Americans is repeatedly rising.

The newest information for 2019 present that school student debt reaches its peak amongst individuals aged 34. The figures additionally present that the whole quantities owed are rising by the yr. Younger Americans are extra affected than the remainder. Student loan debt stats reveal that amongst debtors of their fifties, the quantity owed jumped by 5.6% year-on-year. For debtors of their sixties and seventies, in contrast, the debt elevated by 4.5% and three.4%, respectively.


14. The share of mother or father debtors of student loans has jumped by 13% within the interval from 2015-2019.

Reports by Experian present that the amount of cash borrowed additionally jumped by 38% in comparison with 2015. In the interval 2018-2019, the share of mother or father debtors elevated by 3%, and the quantity borrowed by 7%. These school loan statistics present that student debt doesn’t have an effect on students solely however their dad and mom, as properly.

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15. About 15% of American adults carry excellent student loan debt.

Among all adults within the US, solely 15% have this kind of debt to fret about. The scenario is extra drastic, nonetheless, amongst Americans aged 18-29. Among them, round one-third (34%) owe cash for paying off student loans. People at 60 or extra have the bottom share, i.e., just one%. College debt statistics for 2018 point out that 22% and seven% of individuals aged 30-44 and 45-59 had student debt.

(Pew Research Center)

16. 36% of Americans with student debt consider the monetary prices of their diploma are bigger than their financial advantages.

Among those that carry school loan debt, greater than one-third (36%) discover the schooling prices extra important than the advantages. About 14% of individuals assume that the bills are ‘much larger,’ whereas 23% discover them ‘somewhat larger’. Approximately 17% of Americans that owe cash for his or her school schooling discover the prices in keeping with the advantages. Student debt statistics however present that almost all (46%) contemplate the advantages extra substantial than the prices. Nearly 1 / 4 (23%) see the monetary advantages of their diploma as ‘much larger’ than the financial prices.

(Pew Research Center)

Student Debt in America by Location

17. Florida, New Hampshire, Nevada, and Washington are the states with the best 1-year enhance in school student debt.

Experian has categorized all US states by their highest 1-year enhance of common student loan debt. Here, Florida holds the throne with its common of $36,706 that represents a 1-year enhance by 8.5%. Official US student loan debt statistics place Nevada proper behind Florida. Namely, the common in Nevada in 2019 was $33,863, which was increased by 7.1% y-o-y. The prime 4 record is rounded up with Washington and New Hampshire, with their corresponding 1-year will increase of 6.9% and 6.7%. The common schooling debt in these two states was $34,193 and $34,072, respectively.


18. Alaska, Alabama, South Carolina, and Michigan are the states with the best 5-year enhance in debt for student loans.

As for probably the most important 5-year enhance in common school debt, we have now Alabama within the lead with its $35,674 common. Student debt statistics within the US present that this state famous a 30.9% 5-year leap in common schooling debt. South Carolina comes subsequent with a median schooling debt of $36,552 and a 5-year enhance by 30.1%. Michigan (29.0%) and Alaska (22.0%) are the 2 different states with the best 5-year leap within the common debt of faculty graduates. Their respective common graduate student loan debt in 2019 was $35,307 and $32,096.


Student Loan Debt by State

19. New Mexico, Mississippi, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Kentucky are states with important 1-year and 5-year leap in US student loan debt.

In a separate class, Experian positioned 5 states which have hovering will increase in each 1-year and 5-year common school debt. Per student loan debt statistics, North Carolina has the best common of $36,257. The state’s 1-year and 5-year will increase are 6.8% and 33.9%, respectively. With common schooling money owed of $35,478 and $35,016, Mississippi and Tennessee come subsequent. Still, Mississippi recorded extra important jumps (9.4% 1-year and 36.0% 5-year) than Tennessee (6.8% 1-year and 31.8% 5-year).

New Mexico is the fourth state with the best common ($33,610) on this class. Over one and 5 years, this common elevated by 8.8% and 32.8%, respectively. Finally, Kentucky rounds up this record with a median debt after school of $32,174, per the faculty debt statistics. The state recorded year-on-year development of this debt by 6.8%, whereas within the interval 2015-2019, the common quantity owed elevated by 30.7%.


20. Washington, D.C. has the best common quantity of student loan debt of $55,882.

At the opposite finish of the spectrum is South Dakota, which boasts the bottom common schooling debt of $28,868. Experian additionally listed the best and lowest averages by the metro space. Durham, NC, was within the lead with a median of $47,995, which represents a ten.9% y-o-y enhance. Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown, NY, had the bottom common by metro space in 2019, in response to Experian’s student loan debt details. Its residents carried, on common, about $35,446 in schooling money owed, an quantity increased by 6.1% in comparison with 2018.

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Student Loan Default Rate

21. Less than 5% of student loans had been delinquent within the USA in 2019.

The variety of delinquent student loans dropped by 6% within the interval 2016-2019. Loans due 30-59 days overdue date recorded a delinquency lower of 46%. Also, the variety of loan funds due 60-90 days overdue delinquency decreased by 47%, as urged by student loan statistics. College debt loans 90+ days overdue famous a small drop (3%) within the delinquency charges.


22. 20% of Americans that carry debt for their very own schooling are behind on their funds.

About 21% of these debtors maintain an affiliate diploma, and 10% maintain a bachelor’s diploma. Americans with a graduate diploma (6%) symbolize the bottom share of people who find themselves behind on their funds. A take a look at the stunning student loan debt statistics reveals that students who failed to finish their research are most probably to default. About 37% of Americans with lower than an affiliate diploma have late funds that result in a decrease credit rating.

(U.S. Federal Reserve)

Average Debt After College by Race/Ethnicity

23. In 2019, 54% of White Americans had paid off their school loans.

Only 6% of them had been behind on their funds, present the Federal Reserve student loan debt statistics. The remaining 40% of White Americans with schooling debt had been making funds throughout the due dates. The scenario is a bit completely different amongst white Americans aged 18-29. Namely, 7% of this group had been behind their school debt funds in 2019. Almost three-fourths of them (74%) had been nonetheless paying off student loans, whereas solely 18% managed to pay it off. Still, they’re in a greater place than African Americans and Hispanics.

(U.S. Federal Reserve)

24. Less than one-third of African Americans had no debt from student loans in 2019.

More exactly, solely 31% of individuals from this race managed to repay their schooling debt, present the student loan debt details. This determine reveals the numerous distinction between White Americans and African Americans relating to coping with student loans. When specializing in the age group 18-29, nonetheless, the scenario was comparable. Approximately 28% of African Americans had been behind their funds in 2019, whereas 61% had been nonetheless paying schooling debt off. Only 8% of African Americans had no student loan debt in 2019. This determine was decrease than each the odds recorded amongst White and Hispanic Americans aged 18-29.

(U.S. Federal Reserve)

College Debt Payment Status by Race Ethnicity

25. In 2019, about 50% of Hispanics within the United States had been paying their school loan funds on time.

The Federal Reserve student loan stats positioned Hispanics in an analogous place with African Americans relatively than White Americans. Around 16% of all Hispanic Americans with debt related to a school schooling had been behind their funds in 2019. Among the remaining 83%, 50% had been nonetheless coping with student loans, whereas 33% paid their loans off.

As for Hispanics with schooling debt aged 18-29, they had been behind White Americans and in a greater place than African Americans. Stats present that in 2019, 15% of Hispanics from this age group had been behind loan funds. Over two-thirds (69%) had been nonetheless paying off college-related debt. Finally, the faculty loan statistics revealed that solely 16% of Hispanics aged 18-29 paid off their debt related to a school schooling.

(U.S. Federal Reserve)

Final Thoughts

Education prices are rising by the yr, inflicting a extreme burden for American students. With the student loan debt whole within the United States surpassing $1.5 trillion, the scenario now could be extra severe than ever. Both students and their dad and mom wrestle to pay for a school schooling, which many contemplate extra pricey than helpful.

These stunning student loan debt statistics in the meantime present that Americans learning in personal for-profit faculties carry probably the most debt and pay the biggest common month-to-month funds. Also, these stats reveal that White Americans are in a greater place with greater than half having paid off their debt. 

References: Debt, Student Aid, Investopedia, Pew Research Center, U.S. Federal Reserve, Student Aid, College Board, Student Aid, Experian