As the cost of college continues to rise, it becomes harder for federal student loans to fully meet the price tag. Private student loans are increasingly used to fill the gaps, and using our own data that includes close to 200,000 users interested in private student loans, LendEDU reveals how the private student loan industry has changed from 2016 to today.
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Currently, there is $1.52 trillion in outstanding student loan debt in the nation. That collective sum is owed by 45 million student loan borrowers, and borrowers from the Class of 2017 had an average of $27,975 in student loan debt.
To cover the higher education price tag, federal student loans are usually the first option that consumers turn to after scholarships, grants, and savings have been exhausted. But as that price tag keeps swelling, private student loans are increasingly used to fill the gaps left by federal borrowing limits.
With over 100 different private student loan lenders, the market has exploded in recent years. Now, there is around $102 billion in private student loan debt, or 7.5% of the country’s outstanding student debt balance. Each year, roughly 1.4 million college students will use a private student loan to help pay for college.
Using our exclusive data that features close to 200,000 users that have gone through the LendEDU private student loan portal, LendEDU has put together an extensive private student loan report that highlights industry trends.
Below, you can see how important private student loan statistics, like approval rates, average interest rates, and average approved loan amount, have changed in the market from 2016 to 2019.
Private Student Loan Data From 2016 to 2019
Overall Approval Data
- From 2016 to 2019, the approval rate for private student loans was 21.04%.
- From 2016 to 2019, the approval rate for students with cosigners on private student loans was 40.51%; 37.35% of all applicants applied with a cosigner.
- From 2016 to 2019, the approval rate for students without cosigners on private student loans was 8.66%; 62.65% of all applicants applied without a cosigner.
- From 2016 to 2019, the average approved loan amount for a private student loan was $13,780.
Tracking Approval Rates
Tracking Cosigner/No-Cosigner Applications
Tracking the Average Private Student Loan Amount
Overall Interest Rate Data
- From 2016 to 2019, the average interest rate on a private student loan was 8.86%.
- From 2016 to 2019, the average VARIABLE interest rate on a private student loan was 8.81%.
- From 2016 to 2019, the average FIXED interest rate on a private student loan was 9.97%.
- From 2016 to 2019, the average cosigned interest rate on a private student loan was 8.74%.
- From 2016 to 2019, the average cosigned VARIABLE interest rate on a private student loan was 8.49%.
- From 2016 to 2019, the average cosigned FIXED interest rate on a private student loan was 10.00%.
Tracking No-Cosigner Interest Rates
Tracking Cosigner Interest Rates
Overall Qualification Data
- From 2016 to 2019, the average APPROVED FICO credit score for a private student loan applicant was 737.
- From 2016 to 2019, the average APPLIED FICO credit score for a private student loan applicant was 644.
- From 2016 to 2019, the average APPROVED income for a private student loan applicant was $72,947.
- From 2016 to 2019, the average APPLIED income for a private student loan applicant was $44,583.
Tracking Credit Scores
How to Manage Student Loan Repayment
After completing your college education and entering the working world, student loan repayment can sometimes feel like an uphill battle.
LendEDU provides a few tips below on how to conquer your student loan debt.
If Necessary, Take Advantage of Student Loan Forbearance or Deferment
There are times when financial hardships are unavoidable, which can make student loan repayment even more difficult. But there are two options potentially available to you: forbearance or deferment.
Student loan forbearance is often available for both federal and private student loans and will allow you to pause your student loan payments for a certain amount of time in the case of financial hardship. Student loan deferment essentially works the same way, but interest will likely continue to accrue with this option.
Understand the Various Student Loan Repayment Plans
For example, there is the standard 10-year repayment plan, the graduated plan, the extended plan, and different income-driven repayment plans with which you only have to make monthly payments that represent a reasonable percentage of your income.
Consider Refinancing Your Student Loans
If you can get a lower interest rate by refinancing, you might be able to pay off your student loans faster than expected. LendEDU has a number of articles on refinancing, including this review of ELFI student loan refinancing and a guide on how to refinance Sallie Mae student loans.
All data used in this report was compiled from close to 200,000 users who went through LendEDU’s private student loan portal when applying for a private student loan between 2016 and 2019. Data has been provided from private student loan lenders including College Ave Student Loans, Sallie Mae, Discover, Citizens Bank, and SunTrust.
The application data was pooled from the five aforementioned companies and weighted based on the proportion of users. All of the users were sent to one of the five private student loan lenders from the LendEDU website.
Each lender provides slightly different reporting and data. Therefore, some lenders did not provide certain data fields. Due to privacy concerns, we are unable to provide applicant weighting or confirm lender-specific data.
See more of LendEDU’s Research
Author: Mike Brown