Student Loan Debt Statistics for 2020

Let’s get straight to the point here, what do are the current student loan debt statistics for the United States. How bad does it look for us? Well, lets first start with some background information that will give you a better picture of how things are really going right now.

Since we have entered 2020, Americans continue to be more burdened by student loan debt than ever before. Just for reference here, among all students for the class of 2019, 69% of college students took some form of student loans. On top of that, these graduates ended school with roughly $29,900 in debt on average which includes both private and federal student loan debt. On top of this, about 14% of these student’s parents took out a Parent Plus student loan in the amount upwards of $37,200.

What this all boils down to is a Franky stunning statistic that Americas owe over $1.6 trillion in student loan debt among over 45 million borrowers. This means student loan debt is not far behind credit card debt and mortgage debt which is considered to be good debt.

While these numbers are staggering, let’s break these statistics down further. We must ask ourselves a few questions while we dig into the data. Where are most of these student loans being used? For private or public universities? Are most of the students requesting these loans using them for a four-year school or for graduate degrees? What percentages of graduates end up carrying debt when they graduate? And finally, are more college graduates looking to refinance or consolidate their student loans after they graduate?

Let’s take a deep dive into this data and truly find out what is going on.

Student Loan Debt
(Data provided by  SavingforCollege.com, U.S. Federal Reserve, and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, unless otherwise specified.)

Current Student Loan Debt

Student Loan Debt

General facts about student loan debt

To start, let’s take an overall high-level view of what the student loan landscape currently looks like. According to the most recent data, here are a few things to note:

  • $1.64 trillion in total U.S. student loan debt (this equates to almost $3000 in new debt every second)
  • 44.7 million Americans currently have some form of student loan debt
  • 11.1% of student loans are 90 days or more delinquent or are currently in default
  • Monthly student loan payments (among those not in deferment) usually range between $200 and $299 on average
(Data from U.S. Federal Reserve here, and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York here.)

Public Service Loan Forgiveness statistics

(Latest data as of September 2019)
  • Public Student Loan Forgiveness borrowers: 1,132,007*
  • Borrowers who submitted forgiveness applications: 90,962
  • Borrowers who were granted Public Student Loan Forgiveness: 845
  • Average balance forgiven: $61,592

* Total number of borrowers who have one or more approved PSLF Employment Certification Forms (ECF)

(Note: Borrowers are self-identified based on the submission of an ECF. Source: United States Government Accountability Office, via the Report to Congressional Requesters, and Dept. of Education here.)

Federal Student Loan Overview

STUDENT LOAN DEBT STATISTICS BY STUDENT LOAN PROGRAM:

Direct Loans $1.24 trillion 35.1 million borrowers
FFEL Loans $261.6 billion 12.1 million borrowers
Perkins Loans $6.1 billion 2.0 million borrowers
Total (All Federal) $1.51 trillion 42.9 million borrowers

STUDENT LOAN DEBT STATISTICS BY LOAN TYPES:

Stafford Subsidized $280.7 billion 29.5 million borrowers
Stafford Unsubsidized $516.0 billion 28.9 million borrowers
Stafford combined $796.7 billion 33.2 million unique recipients
Grad PLUS $75.2 billion 1.4 million borrowers
Parent PLUS $96.1 billion 3.6 million borrowers
Perkins $6.1 billion 2.0 million borrowers
Consolidation $536.1 billion 11.7 million borrowers

STUDENT DEBT STATISTICS BY LOAN STATUS (DIRECT LOAN PROGRAM)

Loans in repayment $719.2 billion 19.3 million borrowers
Loans in deferment $132.4 billion 3.7 million borrowers
Loans in forbearance $130.2 billion 2.9 million borrowers
Loans in default $161.3 billion 7.6 million borrowers
Loans in the grace period $45.2 billion 1.8 million borrowers

STUDENT LOAN STATISTICS BY REPAYMENT PLAN (DIRECT LOAN PROGRAM)

Level Repayment Plan
(10 years or less)
$200.7 billion 10.76 million borrowers
Level Repayment Plan
(greater than 10 years)
$77.6 billion 1.70 million borrowers
Graduated repayment plan
(10 years or less)
$90.4 billion 3.12 million borrowers
Graduated repayment plan
(greater than 10 years)
$16.7 billion 340,000 borrowers
Income-Contingent (ICR) $33.6 billion 710,000 borrowers
Income-Based (IBR) $170.4 billion 2.77 million borrowers
Pay As You Earn (PAYE) $96.7 billion 1.39 million borrowers
Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE) $168.9 billion 2.9 million borrowers
Alternative Loans $44.9 billion 1.29 million borrowers
(Data via Studentaid.ed.gov)

Additional shocking student loan debt statistics

OVERVIEW OF STUDENT LOAN DEBT BY LOAN SERVICER

REPAYMENT DEFERMENT FORBEARANCE IN-SCHOOL GRACE
Outstanding
(billions)
Recipients
(millions)
Outstanding
(billions)
Recipients
(millions)
Outstanding
(billions)
Recipients
(millions)
Outstanding
(billions)
Recipients
(millions)
Outstanding
(billions)
Recipients
(millions)
PHEAA $251.5 5.22 $33.7 0.81 $47.6 0.85 $20.8 0.88 $9.0 0.27
Great Lakes $153.4 4.64 $31.2 0.9 $28.4 0.72 $29.3 1.5 $11.4 0.41
Nelnet $119.5 3.67 $25.1 0.72 $17.6 0.46 $22.4 1.08 $8.3 0.3
Navient $145.3 3.98 $24.5 0.64 $31.7 0.64 $16.7 0.78 $7.3 0.26
Not-for-Profit Servicers $49.4 2.55 $17.9 0.71 $4.8 0.23 $42.5 3.11 $9.2 0.54

If those numbers don’t scare you, here’s a closer look at how students accumulate debt based on the types of school they attend:

  • 69% of seniors graduating with a four-year degree in 2019 had student loan debt.
  • The average debt at graduation from public and nonprofit colleges was $29,900 in 2019, a 2% increase from 2018.
  • 66% of graduates from public colleges had loans as of May 2018 (average debt of $25,550)
  • 75% of graduates from private, nonprofit colleges had loans as of May 2018 (average debt of $32,300)
  • 88% of graduates from for-profit colleges had loans as of May 2018 (average debt of $39,950)
  • Students borrowed an estimated $259 billion for the 2018-2019 academic year, and 5% of that amount was private loans.
  • About 17% of the student debt held by the graduating class of 2018 was private.
  • 48% of borrowers who attended for-profit colleges default within 12 years, compared to 12% of public college attendees, and 14% of nonprofit college attendees.
(Data via TICAS.org herehere, and here, and the College Board here.)
Student Loan Debt
Student Loan Debt

Private student loan debt statistics

  • Private student loan debt volume hit an estimated $13.1 billion in the 2018-2019 academic year.
  • More than half of undergraduates don’t take full advantage of federal students, borrowing private loans before they’ve exhausted their available federal loans
  • In 2015-2016, 39% of private loan borrowers attended schools that had tuition costs of $10,000 or less.
  • 17% of student loans for the class of 2018 were private.
  • Interest rates for private loans ran as high as 14.24% in April 2019.
(Data via Ticas.org here and here)

From the statistics above, the cost of attending college can really be a big burden for a large portion of Americans. Are you looking for the best ways to pay off your student loans? Check out some of the best refinancing offers around and see how much you can save on your student loans.

REFINANCE YOUR STUDENT LOANS

List
Ready to see what options you have for your student loans?
We through so. Head over to our student loan refinancing page or our student loans page to see what our lenders can offer you today!