Private Student Loans for February 2024
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LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

Student Loan Debt Statistics

Updated on:
Content was accurate at the time of publication.

Americans owe $1.77 trillion in student loan debt. And while the Biden administration attempted to shrink that amount by an estimated $430 billion, the Supreme Court in late June blocked the president’s student loan forgiveness plan.

This was crushing news for borrowers who’d already been approved for up to $20,000 in student loan relief. On top of that, federal student loan repayments will restart in October after being paused since March 2020.

The administration’s new SAVE repayment plan is expected to automatically forgive $39 billion in student loan debt — but that’s a far cry from the wider $430 billion plan.

As student loan repayments draw closer, our student loan debt statistics page looks at the burdens borrowers face. Continue reading for more.

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Key student loan debt statistics

  • Americans own $1.77 trillion in federal and private student loan debt as of the second quarter of 2023. That’s up 1.25% from the second quarter of 2022. $128.77 billion of that total through March 31, 2023, is private student loan debt.
  • Students and parents borrowed an estimated $94.7 billion in the 2021-22 academic year. 46% of this was federal unsubsidized loans, 16% was federal subsidized loans, 13% was Grad PLUS loans, 13% was private or other nonfederal loans and 11% was Parent PLUS loans.
  • 54% of the class of 2021 bachelor’s degree recipients who graduated from four-year public and private nonprofit colleges had student loan debt. They left school with an average of $29,100 in federal and private student loan debt. Those who graduated from private nonprofits had $33,000 in debt, while those from public colleges had $27,400 in debt. Private school graduates were slightly more likely to leave school with debt than public school graduates — 55% versus 53%.
  • 45.3 million borrowers have federal student debt as of the second quarter of fiscal year 2022. That’s down slightly from 45.4 million in the second quarter of fiscal year 2021.
  • 0.63% of student loans are 90 days or more delinquent as of the second quarter of 2023. That’s down from 4.55% in the second quarter of 2022 and 10.75% in the first quarter of 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Historic look at federal and private student loan debt

QuarterTotal debt (in millions)
Q1 2006$480,966.98
Q2 2006$487,126.04
Q3 2006$510,548.46
Q4 2006$521,382.49
Q1 2007$544,988.55
Q2 2007$549,270.83
Q3 2007$577,380.56
Q4 2007$589,489.28
Q1 2008$619,315.89
Q2 2008$626,605.60
Q3 2008$660,584.20
Q4 2008$675,952.58
Q1 2009$707,226.80
Q2 2009$712,319.16
Q3 2009$746,522.52
Q4 2009$771,699.75
Q1 2010$800,069.82
Q2 2010$811,148.77
Q3 2010$845,804.78
Q4 2010$855,483.43
Q1 2011$896,848.42
Q2 2011$905,157.15
Q3 2011$940,339.02
Q4 2011$959,823.95
Q1 2012$994,279.74
Q2 2012$1,011,259.92
Q3 2012$1,041,034.04
Q4 2012$1,054,565.11
Q1 2013$1,092,013.85
Q2 2013$1,099,606.79
Q3 2013$1,134,180.98
Q4 2013$1,145,550.75
Q1 2014$1,182,061.19
Q2 2014$1,190,488.72
Q3 2014$1,226,394.06
Q4 2014$1,235,751.47
Q1 2015$1,271,844.96
Q2 2015$1,278,764.93
Q3 2015$1,311,766.42
Q4 2015$1,320,248.14
Q1 2016$1,358,137.44
Q2 2016$1,365,269.84
Q3 2016$1,398,573.21
Q4 2016$1,405,332.16
Q1 2017$1,440,358.57
Q2 2017$1,446,680.08
Q3 2017$1,479,029.56
Q4 2017$1,488,895.48
Q1 2018$1,523,343.77
Q2 2018$1,530,756.56
Q3 2018$1,560,681.66
Q4 2018$1,566,903.43
Q1 2019$1,597,654.08
Q2 2019$1,603,292.89
Q3 2019$1,635,131.96
Q4 2019$1,637,880.71
Q1 2020$1,671,968.77
Q2 2020$1,672,503.13
Q3 2020$1,696,474.62
Q4 2020$1,693,860.24
Q1 2021$1,718,706.55
Q2 2021$1,719,067.51
Q3 2021$1,739,443.83
Q4 2021$1,733,415.18
Q1 2022$1,747,455.51
Q2 2022$1,744,007.00
Q3 2022$1,761,742.00
Q4 2022$1,764,067.41
Q1 2023$1,774,909.90
Q2 2023$1,765,763.08

Source: Federal Reserve

Federal student loan portfolio

Data from the U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid office allows us to dive into how much federal student loan debt borrowers carry by loan program, repayment plan and more. The following data is from the second quarter of 2023 (except for the servicer information, which is updated as of March 2023).

Federal student loan debt statistics by loan program

Loan programDollars outstandingRecipients
Direct loans$1,446.0 billion38.3 million borrowers
FFEL loans$194.7 billion8.7 million borrowers
Perkins loans$3.7 billion1.2 million borrowers
Total (all federal)$1,644.5 billion43.6 million unduplicated borrowers

Federal student loan debt statistics by loan debt

Loan debtDollars outstandingRecipients
Stafford subsidized$296.2 billion30.3 million borrowers
Stafford unsubsidized$584.9 billion30.7 million borrowers
Stafford combined$881.1 billion34.9 million unique recipients
Grad PLUS$100.7 billion1.7 million borrowers
Parent PLUS$111.7 billion3.7 million borrowers
Perkins$3.7 billion1.2 million borrowers
Consolidation$547.3 billion10.7 million borrowers

Federal student loan debt statistics by loan status (direct loan program)

Loan statusDollars outstandingRecipients
Loans in repayment$10.1 billion0.3 million borrowers
Loans in deferment$113.8 billion3.1 million borrowers
Loans in forbearance$1,082.2 billion26.7 million borrowers
Loans in default$101.4 billion4.6 million borrowers
Loans in grace period$18.4 billion1.0 million borrowers

Federal student loan debt statistics by repayment plan (direct loan program)

Repayment planDollars outstandingRecipients
Level repayment plan (10 years or less)$211.2 billion10.7 million borrowers
Level repayment plan (greater than 10 years)$77.3 billion1.8 million borrowers
Graduated repayment plan (10 years or less)$84.8 billion2.9 million borrowers
Graduated repayment plan (greater than 10 years)$15.7 billion0.3 million borrowers
Income-contingent (ICR)$39.0 billion0.8 million borrowers
Income-based (IBR)$162.9 billion2.6 million borrowers
Pay As You Earn (PAYE)$113.5 billion1.5 million borrowers
Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE)$197.1 billion3.3 million borrowers
Alternative$44.2 billion1.3 million borrowers

Federal student loan debt by servicer

RepaymentDefermentForbearanceIn-schoolGrace
Outstanding (billions)Recipients (millions)Outstanding (billions)Recipients (millions)Outstanding (billions)Recipients (millions)Outstanding (billions)Recipients (millions)Outstanding (billions)Recipients (millions)
Great Lakes$1.30.03$9.00.22$131.42.89$5.00.22$1.00.05
Nelnet$1.30.05$39.01.07$335.79.69$37.61.92$6.40.35
Aidvantage$3.10.12$22.90.59$263.26.58$14.70.75$2.90.15
MOHELA$4.00.09$24.50.66$298.55.92$23.91.30$3.50.18
Edfinancial$0.70.03$15.30.49$76.82.97$24.21.26$3.40.18
OSLA$0.00.00$4.90.18$14.50.72$8.20.55$1.20.09

Federal and private student loan debt by state

Here’s a LendingTree analysis of student loan debt by state based on the anonymized credit reports of more than 150,000 LendingTree users in December 2022. Check out our page for more detailed statistics at the state level.

Average student loan debt by state

RankStateAverage balance
1District of Columbia$60,037
2Maryland$53,141
3Georgia$50,390
4Florida$50,005
5Delaware$48,863
6Alabama$47,612
7Virginia$47,507
8New Hampshire$47,072
9Illinois$46,575
10Mississippi$45,940
11New York$45,933
12North Carolina$45,680
13South Carolina$45,619
14New Jersey$45,153
15Tennessee$44,549
16Michigan$44,296
17Kentucky$43,840
18Connecticut$43,695
19Rhode Island$43,336
20Colorado$43,157
21Idaho$43,094
22Missouri$42,937
23Arkansas$42,673
24Massachusetts$42,582
25Oregon$42,332
26Pennsylvania$42,243
27Washington$42,201
28Iowa$41,599
29Arizona$41,597
30Ohio$41,552
31Texas$41,299
32California$40,945
33Nevada$40,747
34Louisiana$40,696
35Hawaii$40,263
36Wisconsin$40,096
37Alaska$39,912
38Indiana$39,907
39Montana$39,645
40Kansas$39,460
41Oklahoma$39,455
42Vermont$39,330
43North Dakota$38,665
44Utah$37,661
45Minnesota$37,651
46New Mexico$37,580
47Maine$35,778
48Nebraska$35,727
49South Dakota$34,052
50West Virginia$33,856
51Wyoming$29,809

Source: Analysis of anonymized credit reports of more than 150,000 LendingTree users in December 2022. Note: Includes federal and private student loans.

Private student loan debt statistics

While certain sources track federal and private student loan data together, others gather based on private loans alone. Here’s a closer look at some stats in that realm:

  • Americans owe an estimated $128.77 billion to private student lenders as of the first quarter of 2023. This accounts for an estimated 7.3% of total outstanding federal and private student loan debt.
  • 14 contributors to the Enterval Analytics Private Student Loan Report — Citizens Bank, Discover Bank, Navient, PNC Bank, Sallie Mae Bank, SoFi, College Ave Student Loans, Navy Federal Credit Union and six members from the Education Finance Council — account for $58.48 billion of that $128.77 billion total.
  • Undergraduate loans account for 88.93% and graduate loans account for 11.07% of the outstanding balance held by those 14 contributors.
  • Among the private student loans held by those contributors as of the end of the first quarter of 2023, 76.3% are in repayment, 19.3% are in deferment, 3.0% are in a grace period and 1.4% are in forbearance.
  • 1.44% of private student loans are 90 days or more delinquent as of the first quarter of 2023, compared with 1.30% the year prior.
  • 90.30% of undergraduate and 65.42% of graduate private loans were cosigned during the 2022-23 academic year.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness statistics

LendingTree has an in-depth student loan forgiveness statistics roundup that looks at various types of programs. Still, we thought we’d provide a separate breakdown of the latest on the most impactful program — Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF).

The Federal Student Aid data here is through March 2023 — the latest available — and looks at the PSLF programs as a whole, including PSLF, Temporary Expanded PSLF (TEPSLF) and the limited waiver:

  • PSLF borrowers with one or more approved PSLF employment certification forms and a positive loan balance: 2,018,181
  • Total combined PSLF forms submitted: 5,462,098, with 3,139,959 completed forms
  • Unique borrowers granted PSLF (PSLF, TEPSLF and waiver): 500,519 (versus 388,216 through January 2023)
  • Average balance forgiven (PSLF, TEPSLF and waiver): $68,547 (versus $68,707 through January 2023)

Sources

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