Student Loan Debt Statistics In 2018: A $1.5 Trillion Crisis

Student loan debt is now the second highest consumer debt category – behind only mortgage debt – and higher than both credit cards and auto loans.  According to Make Lemonade, there are more than 44 million borrowers who collectively owe $1.5 trillion in student loan debt in the U.S. alone. The average student in the Class of 2016 has $37,172 in student loan debt.

The latest student loan debt statistics for 2018 show how serious the student loan debt crisis has become – for borrowers across all demographics and age groups.

  • States with larger populations have higher aggregate student loan debt. California, Florida, Texas and New York are among the 4 highest states for total student loan debt outstanding among resident borrowers. These four 4 represent more than 20% of all U.S. student loan borrowers.
  • New Hampshire has the highest average student loan debt per student ($36,367) from the Class of 2016. Utah has the lowest average student loan debt per student ($19,975) from the Class of 2016.
  • As of 2016, the average student loan debt per capita is $4,920. Pennsylvania, New York and Michigan have among the highest student loan debt per capita in the nation.
  • As of 2018, more than 42 million student loan borrowers have student loan debt of $100,000 or less. More than 2 million student loan borrowers have student loan debt greater than $100,000, with 415,000 of that total holding student loan debt greater than $200,000.  The largest concentration of student loan debt is $10,000 – $25,000, which accounts for 4 million student loan borrowers.
  • Over the past 5 years, student loan debt balances have grown across each age category. On a percentage basis, the largest increase in student loan debt has come from a surprising age group: 60 to 69-year-olds, who have experienced an 5% increase in student loan debt. On a dollar basis, the highest increase in student loan debt is among 30 to 39-year-olds, who as a group now hold over $461 billion in student loans.
  • The largest concentration of student loan borrowers is under 30-years-old, followed by the 30-39 age group. Therefore, there are 1 million student loan borrowers under the age of 39, with this group representing approximately 65% of all student loan borrowers.
Source:  Forbes