What Is the Average Student Loan Debt?

What Is the Average Student Loan Debt? article image.

The average student loan debt in 2017 was $34,144 per borrower, according to Experian's State of Student Loan Debt report from August 2017.

More than 44 million Americans have an outstanding student loan, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and according to Experian's analysis, More than 13% of U.S. consumers have at least one outstanding student loan. The typical borrower has 3.7 separate student loans, compared to a decade ago when the average was less than 2.5 student loans per borrower.

Who Owes the Most in Student Loan Debt?

Student loan borrowers in the Gen X age group in 2017 had an average of nearly $40,000 in outstanding student debt in 2017, according to Experian data. The next most-indebted age group was Baby Boomers (age 50-70 in Experian's analysis), with an average student loan balance of around $36,000.


How Much Has Student Loan Debt Grown in the United States?

The amount of student loan debt has increased more than $800 billion over the past decade to more than $1.4 trillion in 2017, according to Experian.

How Much Student Loan Debt Is Too Much?

Being able to repay your student loans in 10 years can be a smart financial move, as it will make it easier for you to fund other goals later in life. The general recommendation from financial planners is to keep student loan payments below 8% of your estimated gross income after graduation. If you borrow more, it can be harder to stick to a 10-year repayment plan.

How Many Students Take out Student Loans?

According to the U.S. Department of Education, nearly 39% of all undergraduates in the 2015-2016 academic year had a federal student loan. Among attendees of four-year colleges, more than 47% had a federal loan. More than four in 10 graduate students had a federal loan in 2015-2016.


What States Have the Most Student Loan Borrowers?

In 2016, more than 70% of college graduates from schools in New Hampshire, South Dakota and West Virginia had student loans, according to the non-profit Institute for College Access and Success. Students graduating from schools in Utah were the least likely to have student loans; 43% of Utah graduates had student loan debt.

What Are the Best Ways to Borrow for College?

Student loans backed by the federal government are often the best way to borrow, as there are flexible repayment options. Private student loans, offered by banks, credit unions, and online lenders, do not necessarily offer flexible repayment options.

Students should consider borrowing before their parents do. The interest rate on federal loans for students is lower than the interest rate charged to parents who borrow for a child's college costs through the federal PLUS loan program.

What Are My Options for Repaying Multiple Student Loans?

Juggling on-time payments for multiple loans can be challenging. Student loan consolidation can simplify your student loan repayments, and help you avoid late payments. Failing to stay on top of your payments can have a negative impact on your credit scores and potentially make future borrowing more difficult and costly.

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