Student loan debt in 2022 is now more than $1.7 trillion.

The latest student loan debt statistics for 2022 show that there are 45 million borrowers who collectively owe approximately $1.7 trillion in student loan debt. Student loan debt is now the second-highest consumer debt category — second only to mortgage debt and higher than debt for both credit cards and auto loans.

The Covid-19 pandemic has significantly impacted student loans. In March 2020, Congress responded with historic student loan relief, including pausing federal student loan payments. Both President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden extended the student loan payment pause multiple times. Biden paused federal student loan payments through August 31, 2022. Student loan cancellation has become the hot topic with student loans. For years, progressives in Congress have lobbied Biden to cancel up to $50,000 of student loans. The president has called on Congress to cancel up to $10,000 of student loans.

If you are a student loan borrower, the following student loan debt statistics can help you make more informed decisions regarding student loan refinancing, paying off student loans faster and student loan forgiveness.


Student Loan Statistics: Overview

Total Student Loan Debt: $1.75 trillion

Total U.S. Borrowers With Student Loan Debt: 45 million

Direct Loans — Student Loans In Default: $110.5 billion (5.0 million borrowers)

Direct Loans In Forbearance: $1,007.5 billion borrowers (24.8 million borrowers)

(Source: Federal Student Aid, Educationdata.org)


Public Service Loan Forgiveness Statistics

In October 2021, the U.S. Department of Education announced a new limited waiver to help student loan borrowers who work in public service get more access to student loan forgiveness. The introduction of this limited waiver changed student loan statistics for public service loan forgiveness, which makes comparisons to prior years more challenging. As of March 31, 2022, here are the latest public service student loan debt statistics:

Public Service Loan Forgiveness cumulative forms submitted: 1,175,672

Borrowers who submitted applications: 863,757

Including Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSL

PSL
F), Temporary Expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness (TEPSLF) and the limited waiver:

Borrowers whose student loans were discharged: 117,426

Total student loan balance discharged under PSLF: $7.9 billion

Average student loan balance discharged under PSLF: $67,592

(Source: U.S. Department of Education)


States With The Most Student Loan Debt

Not surprisingly, states with larger populations have higher aggregate student loan debt. California, Texas, Florida and New York are among the four highest states for total federal student loan debt outstanding among borrowers.

California, Florida, Texas and New York represent nearly 30% of all U.S. student loan borrowers. Collectively, borrowers in these states owe more than $450 billion of student loan debt.

1. California: $141.8 billion

2. Texas: $120.8 billion

3. Florida: $100.9 billion

4. New York: $92.7 billion

5. Georgia: $68.6 billion

6. Pennsylvania: $64.5 billion

7. Ohio: $62.3 billion

8. Illinois: $61.6 billion

9. Michigan: $51.0 billion

10. North Carolina: $49.2 billion


Student Loan Debt By State

New Hampshire has the highest average student loan debt per student ($39,928) from the Class of 2019.

Utah has the lowest average student loan debt per student ($18,344) from the Class of 2020.


Distribution Of Student Loan Borrowers By Balance

More than 44 million student loan borrowers have student loan debt of $100,000 or less. More than 38 million student loan borrowers have student loan debt of $60,000 or less.

More than 3.0 million student loan borrowers have student loan debt greater than $100,000, with approximately 900,000 of that total holding student loan debt greater than $200,000.

The largest concentration of student loan debt is $20,000 – $40,000, which accounts for 9.7 million student loan borrowers.

Less Than $50,000: 7.8 million borrowers

$5,000-$10,000: 7.4 million borrowers

$10,000 – $20,000: 9.2 million borrowers

$20,000 – $40,000: 9.7 million borrowers

$40,000 – $60,000: 4.3 million borrowers

$60,000 – $80,000: 2.6 million borrowers

$80,000 – $100,000: 1.4 million borrowers

$100,000 – $200,000: 2.4 million borrowers

$200,000+: 0.9 million borrowers


Number Of Student Loan Borrowers By Age Group

Based on the federal student loan portfolio, the largest concentration of student loan borrowers is 35 to 49 years-old, followed by the 25-34 age group. There are 22.3 million student loan borrowers under the age of 34, with this group representing about half of all student loan borrowers. Strikingly, there are 2.5 million borrowers who are 62-years-old or older and collectively owe $100.3 billion.

Here is the breakdown of student loan borrowers by age:

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< Age 24: $103.4 billion (7.4 million borrowers)

25 – 34: $493.6 billion (14.9 million borrowers)

35 – 49: $622.9 billion (14.4 million borrowers)

50 – 61: $284.2 billion (6.4 million borrowers)

> 62: $100.3 billion (2.5 million borrowers)


Student Loan Debt Outstanding By Student Loan Program

There are 37 million student loan borrowers who hold approximately $1.4 billion in Direct Loans. Approximately 9.9 million student loan borrowers hold $226 billion in Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL).

Direct Loans: $1,376.5 billion (37.2 million borrowers)

Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL): $225.7 billion (9.9 million borrowers)

Perkins Loans: $4.2 billion (1.5 million borrowers)

TOTAL: $1,606.4 billion


Student Loan Debt Outstanding By Student Loan Type

Stafford Subsidized: $290.9 billion (30.1 million borrowers)

Stafford Unsubsidized: $562.5 billion (30.1 million borrowers)

Stafford Combined: $853.4 billion (34.3 million unique borrowers)

Grad PLUS: $90.6 billion (1.6 million borrowers)

Parent PLUS: $104.8 billion (3.7 million borrowers)

Perkins: $4.2 billion (1.5 million borrowers)

Consolidation: $553.3 billion (11.2 million borrowers)


Student Loan Debt Statistics By Loan Status For Direct Loans

Approximately $1 trillion in Direct Loans across 24.8 million student loan borrowers are in student loan forbearance as as result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Approximately 7.9 million student loan borrowers are in student loan deferment or student loan default.

Student Loans In School: $110.7 billion (6.1 million borrowers)

Student Loans In Repayment: $16.0 billion (0.5 million borrowers)

Student Loans In Deferment: $100.5 billion (2.9 million borrowers)

Student Loans in Forbearance: $1,007.5 billion borrowers (24.8 million borrowers)

Student Loans In Default: $110.5 billion (5.0 million borrowers)

Student Loans In Grace Period: $23.6 billion borrowers (1.2 million borrowers)


Student Loan Debt Statistics By Repayment Plan For Direct Loans

There are 10.7 million borrowers with $208.9 billion of student loan debt in the Level Student Loan Repayment Plan (student loan repayment in 10 years or less), which represents the largest concentration of borrowers in student loan repayment.

The second most concentrated group of borrowers is enrolled in Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE) at $201.4 billion and 3.4 million borrowers.

Level Repayment Plan (< 10 years): $208.9 billion (10.7 million borrowers)

Level Repayment Plan (> 10 years): $77.6 billion (1.8 million borrowers)

Graduated Repayment Plan (< 10 years): $89.6 billion (3.1 million borrowers)

Graduated Repayment Plan (> 10 years): $16.7 billion (0.3 million borrowers)

Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR) Plan: $37.8 billion (0.8 million borrowers)

Income-Based Repayment (IBR) Plan: $172.0 billion (2.8 million borrowers)

Pay As You Earn (PAYE) Plan: $112.5 billion (1.5 million borrowers)

Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE) Plan: $201.4 billion (3.4 million borrowers)

(Source: NSDLS)


Student Loan Servicer By Loan Status

For Direct Loan and FFEL Loans owned by the U.S. Education Department, here is the breakdown by these select student loan servicers:


Student Loan Debt Statistics: Other Data

In addition, there are several other statistics regarding the state of student loan debt:

  • Nearly seven in 10 seniors (65%) who graduated from public and private non-profit colleges in 2018 had student loan debt.
  • The average student loan debt at public colleges and universities is $30,030 (based on the average amount of borrowing to obtain a bachelor’s degree).
  • The average student loan debt at non-profit private colleges and universities is $33,900 (based on the average amount of borrowing to obtain a bachelor’s degree).
  • The average student loan debt at for-profit colleges and universities is $43,900 (based on average amount of borrowing to obtain a bachelor’s degree).
  • Approximately 16% of student loan borrowers are under the age of 25.
  • Approximately 65% of student loan borrowers are between 25 and 50 years old.

(Source for data includes: Institute For College Access and Success, National Student Loan Data System, U.S. Department of Education, Educationdata.org, Enterprise Data Warehouse, Mark Kantrowitz, Federal Student Aid and FedLoan Servicing).


Student Loans: Related Reading

Bill Maher: Student loan forgiveness is a “loser” issue

Biden confirms he won’t cancel $50,000 of student loans—5 key takeaways

Student loan forgiveness: 5 key takeaways from major announcement

Student loan forgiveness: who could qualify under Biden’s plan

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