2018 Student Loan Debt Statistics

Student loan debt is a big concern for many Americans. Right now, only mortgage debt tops student loan debt as the highest consumer debt category in the U.S. This means it’s not only higher than credit card debt, but also more than the money owed on auto loans.

How Much do we owe on federal student loans? According to the Q2 report from the Federal Reserve, the answer is more than $1.4 TRILLION. And that’s just in the U.S.

When you break this down into individual loans, the average borrower who graduated in 2017 accumulated $39.400 in debt, or six percent more than in 2016 ($37.172). But how does this look when you dig even further? Here are more student loan debt statistics that might surprise you.

Please note: in most of the statistics below, we've simplified things by removing decimals.

An Overview of Student Loan Debt in 2018

Before we get too deep into student loan debts statistics, lets take a look at some of the key numbers.

$ 1.4 trillion

Total amount of student debt owed

$ 29 billion

Amount added to total student debt in the last quarter

44.2 million

Number of Americans with student loan debt

$ 39,400

Average student loan debt of 2017 graduate

The Status of Student Loans

With average student loan debt being nearly $40,000, and estimates showing the average college graduate makes roughly $50,000 a year, it’s no wonder there are so many defaulted student loans. Here’s more information on the status of student loans.

11 percent

Number of student loans in default (90+ days late)

$32 billion

New student loan balances 30+ days late

$31 billion

New student loan balances 90+ days late

$74 billion

Balance on defaulted student loans

But not all student loans are currently in default. In fact, more than half are in good standing or in deferment/forbearance status.

$535 billion

Balance on student loans currently in repayment

$112 billion

Balance on student loans currently in deferment

$100 billion

Balance on student loans currently in forbearance

$25 billion

Balance on student loans currently in grace period

Federal Student Loans Distributed by Loan Program

As expected, one federal student loan program is more popular than the rest, with Direct Loans topping all the others. Here’s how Direct Loans stack up against other federal student loan programs.

$1 trillion

Amount owed on Direct Loans

$295 billion

Amount owed on FFEL Loans

$7 billion

Amount owed on Perkins Loans

Federal Student Loans by Loan Type

What specific types of loans are people taking out? According to the office of Federal Student Aid’s Q2 report, these loan types are favored among borrowers.

$ 276 billion

Balance owed on Stafford Subsidized Loans

$ 476 billion

Balance owed on Stafford Unsubsidized Loans

$ 62 billion

Balance owed on Grad PLUS Loans

$ 87 billion

Balance owed on Parent PLUS Loans

$ 7 billion

Balance owed on Perkins Loans

$ 495 billion

Balance owed on Federal Consolidation Loans

Federal Student Loan Debt by Repayment Plan

When repaying your student loans, you might have several repayment options to choose from as a borrower. What repayment plans have the highest amount of debt? Read on to learn more.

$ 199 billion

Amount owed on Standard Repayment Plan

$ 74 billion

Amount owed on 10+-year Level Repayment Plan

$ 171 billion
$ 56 billion
$ 77 billion
$ 25 billion

Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)

Public Service Loan Forgiveness has met numerous challenges since its inception. Yet it’s still one of the most popular programs available for qualified public service employees. These include doctors, nurses, teachers, military personnel, and police and firefighters.


As of Q4 2017, there were 802,040 borrowers who were part of the PSLF program.

Student Loan Debt by Age

When you think of student debt, you probably imagine most people over 30 would have less debt than a recent graduate. After all, they’ve probably been repaying these loans for years. However, that’s not exactly the case, as you’ll see below.

37%

Percentage of people under 30 with student loan debt

62%

Percentage of people over 30 with student loan debt

$ 351

Average monthly payment on student loans for ages 20 to 30

Student Loan Debt by State

Now that we know who owns most of the debt, let’s take a look at a state-by-state breakdown of student loan debt to find out how your state is doing. We’ve also included the amount the average borrower owes in your state.

Balance Owed
$19 billion
Average Debt Per In-State Borrower
$31,275
Balance Owed
$2 billion
Average Debt Per In-State Borrower
$26,008
Balance Owed
$25 billion
Average Debt Per In-State Borrower
$23,447
Balance Owed
$10 billion
Average Debt Per In-State Borrower
$26,859
Balance Owed
$123 billion
Average Debt Per In-State Borrower
$22,744
Balance Owed
$24 billion
Average Debt Per In-State Borrower
$26,520
Balance Owed
$14 billion
Average Debt Per In-State Borrower
$35,494
Balance Owed
$3 billion
Average Debt Per In-State Borrower
$33,838
Balance Owed
$5 billion
Average Debt Per In-State Borrower
$31,054
Balance Owed
$80 billion
Average Debt Per In-State Borrower
$24,461
Balance Owed
$55 billion
Average Debt Per In-State Borrower
$27,657
Balance Owed
$3 billion
Average Debt Per In-State Borrower
$26,092
Balance Owed
$6 billion
Average Debt Per In-State Borrower
$27,130
Balance Owed
$53 billion
Average Debt Per In-State Borrower
$29,271
Balance Owed
$26 billion
Average Debt Per In-State Borrower
$29,562
Balance Owed
$11 billion
Average Debt Per In-State Borrower
$29,801
Balance Owed
$11 billion
Average Debt Per In-State Borrower
$28,776
Balance Owed
$16 billion
Average Debt Per In-State Borrower
$28,910
Balance Owed
$18 billion
Average Debt Per In-State Borrower
$27,138
Balance Owed
$5 billion
Average Debt Per In-State Borrower
$31,295
Balance Owed
$29 billion
Average Debt Per In-State Borrower
$27,455
Balance Owed
$26 billion
Average Debt Per In-State Borrower
$31,563
Balance Owed
$44 billion
Average Debt Per In-State Borrower
$30,852
Balance Owed
$23 billion
Average Debt Per In-State Borrower
$31,915
Balance Owed
$13 billion
Average Debt Per In-State Borrower
$29,384
Balance Owed
$25 billion
Average Debt Per In-State Borrower
$27,532
Balance Owed
$3 billion
Average Debt Per In-State Borrower
$31,065
Balance Owed
$6 billion
Average Debt Per In-State Borrower
$26,585
Balance Owed
$9 billion
Average Debt Per In-State Borrower
$24,128
Balance Owed
$5 billion
Average Debt Per In-State Borrower
$36,367
Balance Owed
$35 billion
Average Debt Per In-State Borrower
$29,878
Balance Owed
$6 billion
Average Debt Per In-State Borrower
$21,373
Balance Owed
$80 billion
Average Debt Per In-State Borrower
$30,346
Balance Owed
$39 billion
Average Debt Per In-State Borrower
$25,562
Balance Owed
$2 billion
Average Debt Per In-State Borrower
Unavailable
Balance Owed
$54 billion
Average Debt Per In-State Borrower
$30,351
Balance Owed
$13 billion
Average Debt Per In-State Borrower
$25,856
Balance Owed
$17 billion
Average Debt Per In-State Borrower
$27,321
Balance Owed
$55 billion
Average Debt Per In-State Borrower
$35,759
Balance Owed
$3 billion
Average Debt Per In-State Borrower
$31,217
Balance Owed
$22 billion
Average Debt Per In-State Borrower
$30,123
Balance Owed
$3 billion
Average Debt Per In-State Borrower
$31,362
Balance Owed
$26 billion
Average Debt Per In-State Borrower
$26,981
Balance Owed
$95 billion
Average Debt Per In-State Borrower
$26,292
Balance Owed
$8 billion
Average Debt Per In-State Borrower
$19,975
Balance Owed
$2 billion
Average Debt Per In-State Borrower
$28,662
Balance Owed
$35 billion
Average Debt Per In-State Borrower
$29,296
Balance Owed
$23 billion
Average Debt Per In-State Borrower
$24,609
Balance Owed
$6 billion
Average Debt Per In-State Borrower
$27,708
Balance Owed
$20 billion
Average Debt Per In-State Borrower
$30,059
Balance Owed
$1 billion
Average Debt Per In-State Borrower
$25,378
When you look at these figures, it’s not surprising that so many borrowers have trouble repaying their student loans. However, getting your student loans paid off doesn’t have to be complicated. We can help!

Find out how to reduce your monthly student loan costs, lower your interest, or simplify the repayment process by filling out our free online form. You can also talk to a student loan specialist by phone at (800) 771-6358.