Student Loan Debt Statistics [2021 Numbers & Facts]

Student Loan Debt Statistics [2021 Numbers & Facts]

Millions of Americans are repaying student money owed even throughout the pandemic. In 2021 and the upcoming years, we anticipate student loan money owed to proceed rising. In this text, we check out necessary student loan debt statistics to see large image tendencies.

This article gathers a very powerful knowledge from varied sources like authorities web sites and statistics businesses. Read on to see how the COVID-19 pandemic affected the nation’s student loan debt numbers.

Student Loan Debt Statistics – Editor’s Pick

  • US students owed almost $1.6 trillion in student debt in 2020.
  • Aggregate student loans may attain $3 trillion by 2038.
  • Around 44 million Americans have student loans.
  • 92% of student loans are federal loans.
  • 56.65% of all federal student loans are in forbearance till September 2021.
  • The annual progress fee of student loan money owed is 513% sooner than the US GDP progress fee.

College Student Debt Statistics

1. Among their borrowing choices, individuals select student loans extra regularly than others, though some additionally select nice credit playing cards for students as a technique of funding.

(Federal Reserve Report)

2. The New York Fed statistics of student loan debt present the common debt in 2020 exceeded $37,500. Around 54% of school students took on debt in 2020 to pay for training; the entire sum amounted to $1.6 trillion.

(Federal Reserve of New York)

3. If the present tendencies proceed, the complete excellent student loan debt will attain $3 trillion by 2038.


This rising development in statistics about student debt reinforces a decades-long sample. In 2010, student loan debt exceeded credit card debt, hitting the $1 trillion mark in 2012.

4. In the 2019/2020 educational yr, $102 billion was supplied in student loans by totally different sources to students throughout the US.


This included loans from states and establishments in addition to personal loans from banks, credit unions, and others. Other financing choices from these sources embody secured credit playing cards.

5. How many students have taken out student loans? The reply is a staggering 44 million — about one in each eight Americans — and that quantity rises yearly.

(Federal Student Aid)

Federal Student Loan Debt Statistics

6. Around 92% of all student loans come within the type of federal loans or loans given by the US Department of Education.


7. College students debt statistics present 43 million individuals owe cash on federal student loans.


Around 34.5 million debtors owe $1.16 trillion in direct loans, whereas 2.2 million debtors owe $6.9 billion in Perkins Loans. These loans are supplied for individuals who need to fund their undergraduate training, graduate students, in addition to the mother and father of school students.

Around 45.3 million students have a median of $35,510 in federal loans. Meanwhile, 30% of undergraduates borrow cash from the federal authorities, 52.8% of that are in Stafford Loans.

8. College debt statistics present that 18.6% of all federal loan money owed are backed Stafford loans, whereas 34.2% are unsubsidized.


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Overall, the federal authorities loans a median of $45.3 billion yearly to 44.4% of all post-secondary training students.

Private Student Loans Debt Statistics

9. Private loans are financing choices to complement federal training loans. These loans usually come from banks, credit unions, or a college.


Of the entire student loan money owed within the US, 8.4% are in personal student loans. Nearly 13% of students use personal student loans to finance their training.

10. According to statistics on school debt, America’s nationwide personal student loan stability is round $137 billion. Roughly 88.5% is spent on undergraduate loans, whereas 11.5% goes to graduate loans.


Student Loan Repayment Status

11. Forbearance suspends funds for 12 months throughout monetary troubles.


Borrowers are liable for the curiosity accrued throughout the forbearance interval. Deferment is taken into account higher since debtors don’t should pay accrued curiosity. Between final yr’s 2nd and third quarters, the typical school students’ debt in compensation decreased by 82%. However, between the third and 4th quarter, that quantity grew by 33.3%.

12. At current, there are round 400,000 — or solely 0.88% of the entire quantity — of federal student loans are in compensation.


13. That is a 97.8% lower from the twond quarter of 2020 when 40.1% of debtors had been in compensation.


14. Roughly 56.65% of federal loans are in forbearance, they usually’ll stay so till September 2021.


15. College student loan debt statistics present that there are at present 3.1 million federal loan debtors who’ve deferred funds.

(Federal Student Aid)

There had been 3.4 million federal student loans in deferment throughout the first quarter of 2019.

16. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, US student loan debt statistics confirmed that 75.37% of personal student loans had been being repaid.

(MeasureOne 2019) 

Almost 1.5% of those had been 90 days overdue, nevertheless.

17. With personal student loans, the borrower is accountable for accrued pursuits in each forbearance and deferment.

(MeasureOne 2020)

In Q1 of 2020, round 20.39% and 5.16% of personal student loans had been in deferment and forbearance, respectively

College student debt statistics additionally revealed that though extra personal loans had been in compensation than federal loans, the share of repayments that had been 90 days overdue was increased at 1.10%.

18. By distinction, 18.6 million debtors are paying their loans on time, with lots of them utilizing student loan refinancing.

(MeasureOne 2020)


Federal loans that aren’t paid on time don’t go mechanically into default for 270 days. They’re thought-about delinquent at first.

There’s a downtrend in delinquencies and defaults.

19. According to knowledge, a student borrower attending for-profit personal schools is extra more likely to default.

(EducationData – Student Loan Default)

Around 10.8% are more likely to default inside their first compensation yr, whereas 25% normally default inside their first 5 years. Some of them discover nice student loan refinance firms to assist them.

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20. According to the American student loan debt statistics, solely 3% of student loan funds are 90 days delinquent however not in default.

(EducationData – Student Loan Default)

21. Around 38%–39% of individuals with school loans between 2012 and 2017 didn’t end school, in accordance with the newest obtainable knowledge.


Student Loan Debt by Age

22. Around 34% of individuals aged 18–29 have student loans. Borrowers below 24 owe a median of $16,500.

(EducationData – Student Loan by Age)

With the entire student loan debt within the US for this group, in addition they extra regularly seek for loans that require no credit historical past.

The common quantity owed by 35-year-old adults is $42,600. Those between 30 and 60 years previous have common loan money owed increased than the nationwide personal student loan stability.

23. Around 5.2 million adults of their 50s have student loan balances.

(EducationData – Student Loan by Age)

Only 2.8 million adults of their 60s have such money owed.

24. Data on the typical student loan debt by age present that adults carry many of the student money owed, with these aged between 35–49 carrying $602 billion in balances.

(Federal Student Aid)

Those between the ages 25–34 carry $500 billion in federal student loan debt.

Student Loan Debt by Gender

Women owe $929 billion of the entire nationwide student loan debt quantity. The mostly cited cause behind that is the persistent gender wage hole.

25. Despite having a decrease earnings, ladies (54%) make increased student loan funds than males (51%).

(AUUW.Org Report)

This additionally signifies that ladies have a better common student loan debt per particular person than males.

26. An enormous majority (67.2%) of feminine students get federal loans, whereas 24.2% get personal loans.

(EducationData – Student Loan Debt by Gender)

27. The similar is true for males: 55.9% of males obtain federal loans, whereas 21.5% obtain non-federal loans.

Around 70% of females with affiliate levels obtained student loans, whereas solely 55.9% of males with affiliate levels obtain such loans.

(EducationData – Student Loan Debt by Gender)

Average Student Loan Debt at Top 20 Universities within the US

Here’s an inventory of the prime US universities with their corresponding common school students debt.

University (Rank) Average Student Loan Debt 
Princeton University (1) $9,445
Harvard University (2) $16,130
Columbia University (3) $27,595
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (3) $23,517
Yale University (4) $15,379
University of Chicago (6) $26,619
Stanford University (6) $22,897
University of Pennsylvania (8) $23,009
Johns Hopkins University (9) $24,107
Northwestern University (9) $36,350
California Institute of Technology (9) $20,192
Duke University (12) $22,203
Dartmouth College (13) $25,071
Brown University (14) $24,304
Vanderbilt University (14) $22,727
Rice University (16) $24,292
Washington University in St. Louis (16) $24,247
Cornell University (18) $27,094
University of Notre Dame (19) $27,460
University of California – Los Angeles (20) $21,441
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Average Student Debt By State

Here’s a breakdown of the typical student debt by state.


State Average Student Loan Debt State Average Student Loan Debt
District of Columbia $55,400 Louisiana $34,400
Maryland $42,700 Arizona $34,100
Georgia $41,500 Massachusetts $34,100
Florida $39,700 Nevada $33,600
Virginia $39,000 New Mexico $33,600
South Carolina $38,300 Alaska $33,600
New York $37,800 Minnesota $33,400
Illinois $37,600 Arkansas $33,300
North Carolina $37,500 Montana $33,300
Alabama $37,100 Indiana $32,800
Delaware $37,000 Texas $32,800
Oregon $36,900 Idaho $32,600
Vermont $36,700 Kentucky $32,500
Mississippi $36,700 Kansas $32,500
New Hampshire $36,700 Maine $32,500
Hawaii $36,500 Utah $32,200
California $36,400 Nebraska $32,100
Tennessee $36,200 Rhode Island $31,800
Michigan $35,900 West Virginia $31,800
Colorado $35,800 Wisconsin $31,800
Missouri $35,400 Oklahoma $31,500
Pennsylvania $35,400 South Dakota $31,100
New Jersey $35,100 Wyoming $31,000
Washington $35,000 Iowa $30,500
Connecticut $34,900 North Dakota $29,200
Ohio $34,600

Other Student Loan Debt Statistics

28. The highest-income households maintain 60% of the entire student loan debt in America, they usually make almost three-quarters of all funds.

(Federal Reserve Consumer Finances)

29. About 42% of students end their research with none debt, because of training funding alternate options, akin to credit playing cards for younger adults.


30. The annual progress fee of the nation’s student loan stability is 23.6% or 513% sooner than the annual GDP progress fee, which is 3.85%.


31. Further, 52% of students with excellent student loans don’t really feel it was price it. Many of them are trying to find methods to purchase properties even with dangerous credit, however their excellent loans render them unqualified.


Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Student Loan Debt

32. During the pandemic, the typical personal student loan debt was 20% deferred and 75% in compensation.


Due to the COVID-19 state of affairs, many personal student loan lenders supplied a three-month suspension of funds, which partly helped many get out of debt quick. However, few of them deferred rates of interest accrued throughout that interval.

33. Between the second and third quarter of 2020, the CARES Act supplied debt aid to no less than 20 million debtors.


Student loan money owed in compensation decreased by 82%. Those in forbearance elevated by 375%. As a aspect impact of the laws, many debtors noticed their beforehand dangerous credit scores grow to be higher.

Wrap Up

The tendencies are simple to identify with regards to realizing what number of students are in debt, with the general path going up. Even earlier than the pandemic, student loan money owed have been rising, with minimal motion by way of compensation.

With the COVID-19 pandemic nonetheless ongoing, the US authorities is enacting laws which will influence the long-term development of such money owed. It’s extremely doubtless that we’ll see the overall development proceed.