April 17, 2012

US student loan debt by the numbers

Some essential facts and figures on the state of student loan debt in America that everyone should know

Amount of student debt owed in the US: $1 trillion

* Number of student loan borrowers in the US: 37 million

* Amount of federal student loans owed directly to the US government: $864 billion

* Amount of student loans owed to private lenders, like banks: $150 billion

* Percentage of private student loans that came from the same seven private lenders: 87%

* Percentage of borrowers surveyed by the Consumer Financial Protection Agency who complained that their lender was unresponsive to requests to renegotiate loans: 65%

* The percentage of borrowers who take out more than $100,000 in student loans: 3%

* The percentage of borrowers who owe less than $6,000: 25%

* Size of the median student loan debt in the US: $13,600

* Average student loan debt owed in the US: $24,301

* Amount of money borrowed by students studying for advanced degrees: $300 billion

* Average student loan debt for the class of 2011, as of 2013: $26,600

* Average student loan debt for the class of 2011, as of 2011 (estimated): $22,900

* Average student loan debt for the class of 2010: $25,350

* Average starting salary for 2012 college graduates: $44,482

* Current interest rate on federally subsidized Stafford loans: 3.4%

* Interest rate on federally subsidized Stafford loans, as of 1 July: 6.8%

* Percentage of graduate students that signed up for federally subsidized Stafford loans before 2012: 30%

* Date that federally subsidized Stafford loans become unavailable to graduate students: July 2012

* Interest rate charged on some loans by Sallie Mae: 9.25%

* The average default rate on student loans: 13.4%

* The average default rate on loans for bachelor's degrees: 9.3%

* The average default rate on loans for associate's degrees or certificates: 17.6%

* Default rates for students with advanced degrees: 6.1%

* Default rates on student loans that causes a college or university to become ineligible for federal student loan subsidies: 30%

* Percentage of institutions with higher-than-average default rates that also grant associate's degrees or certificates: 75%

* Unemployment rate for college graduates: 4.6%

* Student loan borrowers under the age of 30: 14 million

* Americans with bachelor's degrees working minimum-wage jobs: 280,000

* Americans with advanced degrees working minimum-wage jobs: 37,000

* Percentage of 2010 college graduates working jobs that require less than a high school diploma: 38%

* Percentage of college-age students who are choosing less selective colleges in order to take on less debt: 41%

* Number of Americans age 50 and older who account for roughly $149 billion in student loan debt: 6.8 million

* Number of Americans age 60 and older who owe money on student loans: 2.2 million

The above statements do not represent those of Weston Legal or Michael Weston and they have not been reviewed for accuracy. The statements have been published by a third party and are being linked to by our website only because they contain information relating to debt. Nothing in this article should be construed as legal advice given by Weston Legal or Michael Weston. To view the source of the article, please following the link to the website that published the article. Articles written by Michael W. Weston can be viewed here: To report any problem with this article please email



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