How Many Americans Got Student Loan Debt

Jan 03, 2023 By Susan Kelly

When choosing a college, one of the most important things for students to think about is how much it will cost and how they will pay for it. Federal student loans can help students go to college if they can't pay for it on their own because college costs are going up. But if you take out a student loan, you will have to pay back that loan. Over 40 million people in the United States have student loan debt, ranging from $5,000 to $200,000. In this report, we've gathered the most up-to-date information about how many people owe money on their student loans, broken down by state, age, gender, and ethnicity.

Total Average Student Loan debt

In the third quarter of 2022, the total amount of student loans still being paid was $1.77 trillion, up from $1.74 trillion the year before.

Over Time, How Many Persons Have Student Debt?

  • In the past ten years, college costs have increased by 20%, from $11,400 to $13,700 on average.
  • As the cost of college keeps going up, more and more people are taking out loans to pay for it.
  • By 2022, 43 million people in the United States will have federal student loans.
  • Between 2007 and 2021, the number of borrowers grew by about 1.12 million per year, on average.
  • Between 2018 and 2020, the number of borrowers stayed at 43 million. In 2021, the number of borrowers peaked at 43.8 million.
  • Between 2011 and 2008, there was an average of 2.2 million more borrowers each year. This was the most growth in the number of borrowers from one year to the next.

How Many People Of Each Ethnicity And Race Have Student Debt?

Based on information from the American Council on Education and the National Center for Education Statistics, in the 2015–16 school year:

  • About 1.35 million students, or 69.9% of those who got a bachelor's degree, were in debt because of student loans.
  • About 842,025 white students, 168,012 black students, and 158,023 Hispanic students who got a bachelor's degree that year had student loan debt.
  • Even though the total number of Black students was lower than the total number of white students, a much higher percentage of Black students took out student loans. About 86% of black bachelor's degree holders took out loans, while only 70% of white holders did.

How Many People in Each State Have Student Debt?

The number of people who borrow money for school varies from state to state. Even though the median percentage of student loan debt in a state was 13% in 2022, there were a few states that stood out. Washington has the largest percentage of its residents with student loan debt, at nearly 17.7%, and Hawaii has the lowest, at around 8.5%.

The Average Loan Amounts

Forty percent of Americans who went to college did so by taking on some debt. The most common way to borrow money was through student loans. But 26% of people used credit cards, home equity lines of credit, and other forms of credit to borrow money.

Younger adults carry most of this debt. As of the fourth quarter of 2021, people ages 25 to 34 had more than $499.9 billion in federal student loan debt. Even more, debt was carried by people aged 35 to 49, whose student loan balances added up to $621.9 billion. People 50 to 61 years old, on the other hand, have about $280.9 billion in student loan debt.

Decline in Delinquencies

The latest numbers from the Federal Reserve show that 12% of adults who took out student loans were behind on their payments. About 5% of all student loan debt was at least 90 days late or in default.

But these numbers don't show how bad the problem is because emergency relief measures for paying back student loans went into effect in March 2020 and have been extended many times since then. These measures stopped people from having to pay back their loans, froze the interest they owed, and made it illegal to collect on defaulted student loans.

How Do You Get Rid Of Your Student Loans?

Only in a few specific situations will the U.S. government forgive, cancel, or discharge some or all of a person's student loan debt. Teachers in low-income schools and people who work for the government may be able to have some of their debts forgiven. People who are disabled may be able to get their debts taken care of. Those who think they might be able to get their student loans forgiven should talk to the company that handles them.

In Conclusion

Most people who go to college want to get a degree that will help them make a lot more money after they graduate. Still, many adults will have to use a lot of their earnings to pay back student loans. This is a heavy load to carry, especially before getting paid for the first time as a professional.

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