Higher education is seen as a path to success and financial prosperity by millions of Americans.
However, due to increasing college costs, paying for college is not easy, and many students find it necessary to finance higher education with student loans, although it can impede their ability to buy a home, get married start a family.
According to Federal Reserve data, college students in the United States owe about $1.762 trillion in total student loan debt as of July 2022.
The debt accumulation rate is slowing, and recent analytics indicate that consumers are managing their student debt well.
Here’s a breakdown of college student loan statistics 2022 with the latest figures of how many borrowers are there, how much they owe, and how they are repaying their loans? Let’s get started!
Key College Loan Debt Statistics
- Student loan debt in the United States totals $1.762 trillion, including private and federal debt.
- The outstanding federal loan balance accounts for 92.29% of all student loan debt, while the remaining 7.71% is the private loan.
- The total average student loan debt balance, including both federal and private, is $40,904.
- The average federal loan debt per borrower in the United States is $37,014.
- For borrowers of private student loans, the average student loan is around $40,904 per borrower.
- 25% of all the college student loan borrowers went to graduate school.
- 55% of the borrowers are students from public four-year institutions
- 57% of the students from private institutions took on student debt.
- Less than 2% of the private students default while paying the loans. 1
Read: What Is Debt Financing?
The History of Student Loans
Federal Student Loan Debt
According to statistics, only 30% of undergraduates borrow money from the federal government, and the amount they borrow accounts for 92.6% of all student loan debt.
Let’s take an in-depth look at federal student loan debt:
- The federal government approves $45.3 billion in student loans to 44.4% of all postsecondary students annually.
- Stafford Loans account for 52.8% of the federal student loan debt.
- Direct consolidated loans account for 35.5% of the federal student loan debt.
- 18.6% of federal loan debt comes under subsidized Stafford loans, while 34.2% is in unsubsidized Stafford loans.
- 0.4% of student loan debt is from Perkins loans.
- GRAD PLUS loans make up to 5% of federal student loans.
- The ED budgets $90.2 billion for all student loan programs, including $77 billion for federal direct student loans and $13.3 billion for FFEL loans. 2
Private Student Loan Debt
- Private student loan accounts for 8.4% of the outstanding college student loan debt.
- The national private student loan balances have surpassed $140 billion.
- More than 88% of the balance is for undergraduate loans, while the remaining 11% is for graduate students.
- 13% of the students use private sources such as banks or credit unions. 3
Federal College Loan Debt Quarterly Figures
Federal student loans make up about 92% of the American education debt. The Federal student loan portfolio currently totals more than $1.6 trillion owed by 43 million borrowers.
Here are the federal college student loan debt (quarterly) statistics:
|Year||Year-over-year change||Total debt|
College Student Debt By Loan Type
Here is a breakdown of the college student debt by loan type:
|Loan Type||Number of borrowers||Amount Owed|
|Direct subsidized Direct unsubsidized||34 million combined||$564 billion $292 billion|
|Grad Plus||1.6 million||$91 billion|
|Perkins||1.5 million||$4 billion|
|Parent Plus||3.7 million||$105 billion|
|Consolidation||11.3 million||$555 billion|
Student Loan Debt By Level Of Education
|Education Level||Average Student Debt|
Student Loan Debt By Degree
As per data from the Institute of College Access & Success, 62% of the students graduated with student debt in the class of 2019, and the average student loan was $28,950. 25% of undergraduates pass out with $20,000 in student loan debt, while graduate students tend to borrow more than $57,000.
Degrees that are high in demand are expensive, but the money you invest pays off in the long run. Here’s what an average college loan debt by degree look-like:
|Debt Type||Average Debt|
|Bachelor’s degree debt||$28,950|
|Graduate School debt||$71,000|
|Law school debt||$145,500|
|Medical School debt||$1,45,500|
|Dental School debt||$292,169|
|Nursing school debt||$23,711|
|MBA student debt||$66,300|
|Pharmacy school debt||$179,514|
|Veterinary school debt||$183,302|
College Student Loan Debt By Age
The majority of student loan borrowers are between the ages of 25 to 34 and owe around $500 billion of debt in federal student loans.
The average loan owed by each borrower in this age group is between $10,000 to $40,000.
On the other hand, borrowers between the ages of 35-49 carry around $620 billion in student loans, which means each borrower owes more than $100,000 in student loans.
Here are the college student loan debt statistics by age:
- 35-year-olds owe the highest outstanding college student loan debt totaling $42,600.
- About 77.2% of student loan recipients are under 30, while 17.7% of the student loan borrows are below 25.
- 34% of adults between 18-29 have student loan debt.
- 7.4 million borrowers are 24 years old or younger.
- 2.4 million borrowers aged 62 or older owe about $98 billion in student loans.
College Student Loan Debt By Gender
- Women owe 58% of all student loan debt.
- 56.5% of all student financial aid beneficiaries are women.
- 55.9% of males received federal loans, while 21.5% have non-federal loans.
- Male students are more likely to take out student loans on their parents’ behalf.
- 16% of women have undergraduate student loan debt, while 8% have post-graduate student debt.
- Male students are less likely to have student loan debt from graduate school than their female peers.
- Students who identify themselves as transgender or binary have the lowest student loan debt. 5
College Student Loan Debt By Ethnicity
- Black students owe the highest amount of student loan debt at 49.4%.
- Asian students owe the least federal student loan debt with 62% borrowing.
- 71% of the white students are most likely to receive private loans.
- American and Alaska Native students don’t prefer to receive private loans with only 2.6% borrowing.
- 67% of Latino and Hispanic borrowers have educational debt.
- Caucasian and white students owe 54% of the national student loan debt.
- Black and African students graduate with $52,000 or more in student loan debt than their white or Asian peers.
- 48% of the black students owe 12.5% more than what they borrowed four years after graduation.
Student Loan Debt Relief Statistics
- 55% of Americans are in favor of the cancellation of federal student loan debt up to $10,000 per borrower and 47% for up to $50,000 per borrower.
- 32.2% of borrowers of student loans owe $10,000 in federal debt, and the rest, 74.2%, owe $40,000 or less.
- 31% of Americans are not in favor of student debt collection.
- People who support up to $10,000 in student loan forgiveness are more likely to be female, by 28.2%.
- 56.0% of those who are in favor of student loan forgiveness make no more than $50,000 annually, and the rest, 14.3%, make over $100,000.
Sources Of Student Debt Among Borrowers
Students borrow money from different sources to cover their tuition and living expenses during college.
Here are the different sources of student debt among borrowers:
|Sources of Educational Debt||% Of Borrowers|
|Home Equity Loan||4%|
Student Loan Repayment Statistics
Student loan repayment plans involve making regular monthly payments. Lower monthly payments may lead to higher interest rates, whereas missed payments may enter default.
Here are the current loan repayment statistics for student loans:
|Status||Number of borrowers||Debt|
|In School||6.4 million||$118 billion|
|Grace Period||1.6 million||$41 billion|
|Repayment||0.5 million||$16 billion|
|Deferment||3.1 million||$113 billion|
|Forbearance||24 million||$968 billion|
|Default||5.1 million||$112 billion|
Student Loan Delinquency Statistics
Student loan default happens if the borrower misses a payment for a specific period.
Private student loans usually enter default after three months of missed payments, while federal student loans typically enter default after nine months past due.
The table below lists down the student loan delinquency rates among college student loan borrowers who are most likely to default within a few years of entering the loan repayment:
|Student loan borrowers||Default Rates|
|Public Non-profit Schools||14.7%|
|Public non-profit Colleges||9.3%|
|Private non-profit colleges||6.7%|
|Total default rate||9.7%|
Average Student Loan Forgiveness Statistics
According to the Education Data report, Student loan forgiveness statistics indicate that in 2021, the highest number of students will benefit from the loan forgiveness program than ever.
The total amount forgiven was less than 0.6% of the national outstanding student loan debt balance.
Here are the details of the applications approved for the federal student loan forgiveness program:
Public Service Loan Forgiveness
The total number of applications submitted for the PSLF programs is 756,617, of which only 14,566 got approved.
Among the discharges processed, 11,100 are PSLF, while 3,466 are for temporary expanded PSLF.
Among the denied claims, 30.7% of the applications are refused due to incomplete paperwork.
Here’s a PSLF discharge application adjudication progress for applications submitted since November 2020, as no reports were published from December 2021 to March 2021.
|Claims approved||Claims pending||Claims denied|
According to Federal Student Loan Forgiveness data 2022, more than 113,000 waiver charges have been processed and as a result, $6.8 billion in debt discharged.
Income-Driven Repayment Forgiveness
According to Federal data obtained by the National Consumer Law Center and Student borrower Protection Center, 32 borrowers have been approved for the income-driven repayment forgiveness program.
Borrower Defense To Repayment
According to Federal Student Loan Forgiveness data 2022, 115,955 applications were approved out of 432,191 applications, with an approval rate of 27%. 6
Read: Medical Debt Statistics
Also Read: What Is Debt Relief? – Everything You Need To Know
The federal student loan system offers a range of repayment programs. The qualification for these plans differ based on the family size, income, etc.
Here is the distribution of federal loan portfolio among popular repayment plans:
|Repayment plan||Loan amount||Number of borrowers|
|Graduated||$91 billion||3.1 million|
|Standard||$202 billion||10.5 million|
|Pay As You Earn (PAYE)||$112 billion||1.5 million|
|Income-based (IBR)||$173 billion||2.8 million|
|Income-contingent (ICR)||$37 billion||0.8 million|
|Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE)||$200 billion||3.3 million|
The huge gap between the income of pass-outs and the interest they ought to pay on their student loan is the main reason why most of them are living from paycheck to paycheck and are struggling to repay their student debts.
This was the latest College Student Loan Debt Statistics 2022, and we hope you found this article useful.
Is there a way to finish college without accumulating college debt?
The best way to avoid college debt is by attending an in-state public college.
Students who are graduating with non-college debt are attending colleges having fees of less than $8,000 a year.
How many students are in college debt in 2022?
The latest statistics for student loan debt show that there are approx 45 million student loan borrowers, and they collectively owe approx $1.7 trillion.
Traci is a highly experienced debt resolution expert with over 8 years of expertise in helping people become debt-free through various debt relief programs. As a former employee of a well-known debt relief company, she possesses exceptional knowledge and skills to take care of debt-related issues.
When not writing about debt, Traci can be found conducting in-depth research on the latest developments in the industry to ensure that she stays up-to-date with the latest trends and strategies.
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