2022 Student Loan Debt Stats: A Record High of $1.7 Trillion

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Student loan debt in 2022 is now over $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 category of consumer debt – just after mortgage debt and higher than debt for credit cards and car loans.

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on student loans. In March 2020, Congress responded with historic student loan relief, including suspending federal student loan payments. President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden have both extended the student loan payment break several times. Biden suspended federal student loan payments until August 31, 2022. Student loan forgiveness has become the hot topic in student loans. For years, progressives in Congress have pressured Biden to forgive up to $50,000 in student loans. The president called on Congress to forgive up to $10,000 in student loans.

If you are a student borrower, the following student debt statistics can help you make more informed decisions about student loan refinance, repay student loans faster and the cancellation of student loans.


Student loan statistics: overview

Total student loan debt: $1.75 trillion

Total number of US borrowers with student loan debt: 45 million

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

Direct loans with forbearance: $1,007.5 billion borrowers (24.8 million borrowers)

(Source: Federal Student Aid, Educationdata.org)


Civil Service Loan Cancellation Statistics

In October 2021, the U.S. Department of Education announced a new limited waiver to help student borrowers who work in government gain better access to student loan forgiveness. The introduction of this limited waiver has changed student loan statistics for civil service loan forgiveness, making comparisons with previous years more difficult. As of March 31, 2022, here are the latest statistics on public service student debt:

Cumulative Public Service Loan Waiver Forms submitted: 1,175,672

Borrowers who submitted applications: 863 757

Of which Public Service Loan Abandonment (PSL)

LSP
F), the Extended Temporary Remission of the Public Service Loan (TEPSLF) and the limited exemption:

Borrowers whose student loans have been forgiven: 117,426

Total balance of the student loan paid under the PSLF: $7.9 billion

Average balance of paid student loans under the PSLF: $67,592

(Source: US Department of Education)


States with the most student loan debt

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

California, Florida, Texas and New York account for nearly 30% of all US student borrowers. Collectively, borrowers in these states owe more than $450 billion in 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

ten. North Carolina: $49.2 billion


Student Loan Debt by State

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

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


Breakdown of student borrowers by balance

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

Over 3.0 million student borrowers have student loan debt over $100,000, of which approximately 900,000 have student loan debt over $200,000.

The largest concentration of student loans is $20,000 to $40,000, representing 9.7 million student borrowers.

Less than $50,000: 7.8 million borrowers

$5,000 to $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 borrowers by age group

According to the Federal Student Loan Portfolio, the largest concentration of student borrowers is between the ages of 35 and 49, followed by the 25 to 34 age group. There are 22.3 million student borrowers under the age of 34, with this group accounting for about half of all student borrowers. Strikingly, there are 2.5 million borrowers aged 62 or older who collectively owe $100.3 billion.

Here is the breakdown of student borrowers by age:

$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)


Outstanding student loan debt by student loan program

There are 37 million student borrowers who hold approximately $1.4 billion in direct loans. About 9.9 million student 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


Outstanding Student Loan Debt by Student Loan Type

Subsidized Stafford: $290.9 billion (30.1 million borrowers)

Unsubsidized Stafford: $562.5 billion (30.1 million borrowers)

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

Graduate PLUS: $90.6 billion (1.6 million borrowers)

Parent MORE: $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

About $1 trillion in direct loans out of 24.8 million student borrowers are in student loan forbearance as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. About 7.9 million student borrowers are in student loan deferral or default.

Student loans at school: $110.7 billion (6.1 million borrowers)

Student loans in repayment: $16.0 billion (0.5 million borrowers)

Deferred student loans: $100.5 billion (2.9 million borrowers)

Forbearance student loans: $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 in student loan debt in the leveled student loan repayment plan (repaying student loans in 10 years or less), representing the largest concentration borrowers in repaying student loans.

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

Level repayment plan ( $208.9 billion (10.7 million borrowers)

Level repayment plan (> 10 years): $77.6 billion (1.8 million borrowers)

Graduated repayment plan ( $89.6 billion (3.1 million borrowers)

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

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

Income Based Reimbursement Plan (IBR): $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 (REPAY) plan: $201.4 billion (3.4 million borrowers)

(Source: NSDLS)


Student loan officer by loan status

For direct loans and FFEL loans held by the U.S. Department of Education, here is the breakdown by these select student loan servicers:


Student Loan Debt Statistics: Other Data

Additionally, there are several other statistics regarding the state of student debt:

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

(Data source includes: Institute for College Access and Success, National Student Loan Data System, US 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’ Matter

Biden confirms he won’t forgive $50,000 in student loans – 5 key takeaways

Student loan forgiveness: 5 key takeaways from a major announcement

Student loan forgiveness: Who might qualify for Biden’s plan

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