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Average Student Loan Debt Statistics

It’s no secret that student loans are a hot topic in the United States nowadays. They are mentioned in the news, both in a positive and negative light, almost every day.

With all of this news circulating around, it’s natural to become curious about the numbers behind student loan debt.

This page takes a look at key student loan statistics and serves as a directory of other pages where you can find more information.

On this page:

Average Student Loan Debt Statistics

  • $1.7 trillion: the total amount of outstanding student loan debt (source)
  • 44.5 million: the total number of federal student loan borrowers (source)
  • $29,076: the average student loan debt per borrower from the Class of 2019 (source)
  • $15,919: the average student loan debt per graduate from the Class of 2019 (source)
  • 55%: the percentage of graduates from the Class of 2019 with student debt (source)
  • 6.5%: the percentage of student debt that is 90+ days delinquent or in default (source)
  • $200-$299: the typical required monthly payment range of those who were making payments (source)

Federal Student Loans Statistics

By Loan Status (as of Q4 2020)

Status# BorrowersTotal Amount
In-School6.7 million$124.8 billion
Grace Period1.7 million$43.7 billion
Repayment0.4 million$14.7 billion
Deferment3.2 million$114.4 billion
Forbearance22.2 million$887.4 billion
Other0.2 million$8 billion

By Loan Type (as of Q4 2020)

Loan Type# BorrowersTotal Amount
Stafford Unsubsidized29.2 million$539.8 billion
Stafford Subsidized29.6 million$285.7 billion
Parent PLUS3.6 million$100.8 billion
Grad PLUS1.5 million$82.8 billion
Perkins1.7 million$5.2 billion
Consolidation11.5 million$552.1 billion

By ​Repayment Plan (as of Q4 2020)

Repayment Plan# BorrowersTotal Amount
Standard12.44 million$281 billion
Graduated3.51 million$110.8 billion
Income-Contingent0.75 million$36 billion
Income-Based2.77 million$173 billion
Pay As You Earn1.49 million$108.9 billion
Revised PAYE3.22 million$191.6 billion
Alternative1.41 million$48.9 billion
OtherN/A$66.3 billion

By Debt Size (as of Q4 2020)

Debt Size# BorrowersTotal Amount
<$5K7.9 million$20.7 billion
$5k – $10k7.4 million$54.6 billion
$10k – $20k9.2 million$133.1 billion
$20k – $40k9.6 million$272.3 billion
$40k – $60k4.2 million$205.8 billion
$60k – $80k2.6 million$177 billion
$80k – $100k1.4 million$123.2 billion
$100k – $200k2.3 million$317.2 billion
>$200k0.9 million$263.1 billion

By Borrower Age (as of Q4 2020)

Age# BorrowersTotal Amount
24 or Younger7.8 million$115.5 billion
25 – 3414.8 million$500.5 billion
35 – 4914.2 million$601.7 billion
50 – 616.2 million$262.2 billion
62+2.3 million$86.8 billion

Source: Federal Student Aid site

Public Service Loan Forgiveness Statistics (as of September 2020)

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness program discharges the debt of borrowers who work in the public sector after 120 monthly payments are made.

Here are some statistics about the program:

  • $117.7 trillion: Total outstanding balance for borrowers with an eligible Employment Certification Form (ECF)
  • 1.36 million: Cumulative PSLF borrowers with an eligible ECF
  • $86,688: Average outstanding balance for borrowers with an eligible ECF
  • 2.4%: Percentage of applications deemed eligible by the servicer
  • $260.49 million: Total balance discharged for borrowers with an eligible application
  • 3,469: Unique borrowers with PSLF discharges processed
  • $75,090: Average balance discharged for borrowers with an eligible application

Source: United States Government Accountability Office

Private Student Loan Statistics

  • $138.57 billion: the total amount of private student loan debt (source)
  • 8.13%: the percentage of total outstanding student debt that is from private student loans (source)
  • $11,729: the average private student loan amount (source)
  • 8.86%: the average interest rate on private student loans (source)
    • 8.81%: average variable rate
    • 9.97%: average fixed rate
  • 21.61%: the average approval rate for all private student loan applications (source)
    • 36.09%: average approval rate with a cosigner
    • 8.84%: average approval rate without a cosigner
  • 748: the average credit score of approved private student loan applicants (source)
  • $72,947: the average income of approved private student loan applicants (source)
  • 2.14%: percent of private student loans that are 30 to 89 days past due (source)
  • 0.66%: percent of private student loans that are 90+ days past due (source)
  • Over 100: the number of private student loan lenders

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Student Loan Debt Studies