How Many Americans Have Student Loan Debt?

Have you ever looked into how many Americans have student loan debt? If you’ve never checked out the numbers before, you may find the statistics below interesting.

You hear a lot about student loan debt being the second highest consumer debt in the country, second only after mortgages. Although that gives you some idea of the enormous burden of debt that many people carry, it still doesn’t tell you exactly how many Americans have student loan debt. We collected the data from a few reliable sources to put together a high-level overview of what percentage of Americans have student loan debt.

According to Education Data, as of May 25, 2022, 43.4 million Americans have student loans. This is an increase of 1.2 % year over year. Over the last 10 years or so, the number of Americans with student loan debt has gone up by an average of 827, 250 per year.

The total amount of student loan debt in America is $1.757 trillion. That number is absolutely astounding but there seems to be some good news on the horizon. The most recent statistics indicate that the rate of debt accumulation is on a downward trend with a large percentage of consumers being more responsible with managing their student loan debt. 92.8 million living Americans have had student loan debt at some point in their lives. Among borrowers with a student loan balance, an estimated 3.5 million took out loans on behalf of their children or grandchildren.

34.4% of Americans report that they are up to date on their payments.

Number Of Americans Who Have Student Loan Debt: By Education Level

Have you wondered who has more student loan debt – borrowers with higher education degrees or those with lower degrees?  The numbers regarding this particular demographic are quite surprising.

The total number of Associate’s Degree holders who have student loan debt is as high as 581 million while the total number of Doctoral Degree holders is 2.1 million. 33.6 million indebted student loan borrowers have a Bachelor’s Degree, 12.1 million have a Master’s Degree, and 2.2 million have a Professional Degree.

An estimated 38.3 million Americans owe repayment on loans taken for their undergraduate education. An estimated 17.9 million indebted student loan borrowers owe repayment for their postgraduate education and about 6.1 million student loan borrowers are still in school. More than 15.8 million borrowers have outstanding loans from both – undergraduate as well as postgraduate school.

Number Of Americans Who Have Student Loan Debt: By Type of Loan

The number of borrowers carrying a balance on Stafford loans is estimated at 34.3 million, which is an increase of 2.4% year over year. On the other hand, the number carrying a balance on consolidated loans is down 2.6% year over year with a total of 11.2 million borrowers.

The number of indebted student loan borrowers who owe:

  • Grad PLUS loans: 1.6 million
  • Perkins loans: 1.5 million
  • Both undergraduate and postgraduate school loans: more than 15.8 million.
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Number Of Americans Who Have Student Loan Debt: By Demographics

Trying to determine what percentage of Americans have student loan debt by demographics is a little more challenging. This is primarily because privacy and antidiscrimination laws restrict the recording or publicizing of debt information related to demographics. Still, enough data has been collected to get a broad overview of different demographics.

Gender: Women account for an estimated 25.3 million indebted student borrowers, while men account for 18.1 million.

Age: Students between the age of 35 and 49 make up the largest group of indebted student loan borrowers accounting for 14.4 million borrowers. 7.4 million student loan borrowers are under 25 years of age, 6.4 million are between 50 and 61 years, and 2.5 million are older than 62 years.

Annual income: It is estimated that about 24 million indebted student loan borrowers have an annual income of less than $50,000 per year.

Type of institution: 13.7 million indebted student borrowers attended private institutions, 25.3 million attended public institutions, 12.4 million attended proprietary institutions, and 200,000 borrowers attended foreign institutions. 10.1 million students who took federal student loans are unaccounted for in terms of the type of institution they attended.

Finding student loans with the lowest interest rates is key to lowering the cost of borrowing for college. The lower the interest rate, the less interest that accrues over the life of the loan. Need help with finding student loans with the lowest interest rates? Use College Raptor’s free Student Loan Finder to compare lenders and interest rates side by side!

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