Interesting Student Loan Statistics

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Flickr user Reza

Taking out student loans to attend college? You’re not alone. There are actually plenty of interesting statistics and facts surrounding this money. Here are just a few:

General Facts

Currently, there is about $1.41 trillion dollars in total debt, including both federal and private student loans, with about $11.6 billion being private loans and the rest federal. Total, 45,000,000 students and borrowers have taken out this money, with an average of just under $28,000 per student.

For federal, there are a few different loan programs including direct loan, Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL), and Perkins Loans. Currently, direct loans make up 76% of the loans with FFEL making up 23.4% and Perkins the remaining .60%.

Taking a closer look at private loans shows there’s been a drastic drop in the amount of students taking out private student loans. Back in 2008, the outstanding debt was $25.8 billion, compared to the $11.6 billion that it is today.


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Four in Ten Adults

About 40% of adults under the age of 30 currently have student loan debt, current, in deferment, or in forbearance. The number drops as you look at older adults with only 22% between the ages of 30 and 44 having debt, and 4% older than 45.

When you look at paying back the loans, employed adults between the ages of 25 and 39 have a 21% rate of working two jobs or more. Yet only 11% without student debt in the same age range work more than one job.

And taking into consideration standard of living: Very few college graduates with student loans think they’re living comfortably (27%). That’s compared to 45% of college graduates in the same age range who don’t have loans.

Looking at Payment Status

The outstanding debt is in several different parts of repayment status. For example, $120 billion under federal direct loans is currently held by students still attending school while only $41.7 billion is in the 6 month grace period after graduation. $554 billion is in repayment, but over 4 million students and graduates are currently defaulting on their loans. They owe about $78.9 billion all together and make up about 12.2% of the people who have taken out direct loans.

There’s also different repayment plans that are available for direct loans. About 11.3 million students or graduates have a repayment plan where they’ll pay it back in less than 10 years, but another 1.71 million students will take over 10 years. Nearly 3 million students are also taking advantage of Income Based Repayment and another 1 million students or graduates are using Pay as You Earn Repayment plans (PAYE).

There are definitely lots of stats out there surrounding student loan debt, both private and federal. However, it’s interesting to note that while the amount of money taken out in private loans has gone down since 2008, the actual amount of total debt has increased by over 38%! There’s no denying that student loan debt is a serious situation for a lot of current students as well as graduates who aren’t quite sure how they are going to pay back their loans.

Use College Raptor’s free Student Loan Finder to compare lenders and interest rates side by side!



Lender Rates (APR) Eligibility
Sallie Mae logo.
2.62% - 12.97% Variable
3.75% - 13.72% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
Credibe company logo.
1.29% - 12.99% Variable
3.15% - 14.75% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
Lendkey company logo.
Undergraduate and Graduate
Ascent company logo.
1.75% - 10.54% Variable
3.22% - 13.09% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
College Ave company logo.
1.29% - 12.99% Variable
3.22% - 13.95% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
1.66% - 6.21% Variable
2.94% - 7.15% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
Earnest company logo.
2.09% - 11.69% Variable
3.47% - 13.03% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
1.86% - 11.52% Variable
3.20% - 11.99% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
College Raptor is not a loan lender and does not assume responsibility for suggesting a loan to a user who may not be eligible for it. Rates, terms, conditions, eligibility, approval, and other considerations are the decisions of the lenders and may vary depending on which lender or marketplace the user selects. We urge users to carefully consider and review all loan options and terms before committing to taking out a loan.

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