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US Student Loans Statistics – Full Report 2020

A comprehensive report on United States student loans.
Justinas Baltrusaitis
Last Updated: June 19, 2020
In this photo is a graduate.
In this photo is a graduate.

This page covers the US student loans. The data provided is meant to serve the reader with the most accurate, latest, and market-reflective students loans statistics available.

How big is the US student loan debt?

The United States student loan debt has been rising over recent years to hit crisis levels.  By Q1 2020, the debt was at its highest in history to stand at $1.6 trillion, representing at least 10% of the national household debt. Notably, the debt has been surging upwards since 2006.

What is the average US student loan debt of students in 2020?

This statistic shows the average debt of students at the top 20 universities in the United States in 2020. The ranking of universities is based on research, user feedback, discussions with schools and higher education experts among other metrics. Princeton University, Harvard University, Columbia University, MIT and Yale University are currently ranked as the top five universities. On average, students from the top 20 universities in the United States have a debt of $22,957.

What is the average annual cost to attend university in the US?

The United States university costs entail tuition, fees, room, and board charges per academic year. The type of institution covered includes public two-year in-district, public four-year in-state, public four-year out-of-state, and private non-profit four-year. In the estimated costs for attending university in the US, public two-year institutions and proprietary institutions room and board are not included.

What is the amount of undergraduate student aid provided in the US?

This statistic shows the amount of student aid offered by different federal, state, and private sources to undergraduate students in the United States for the 2018/19 academic year. The student aid is funding that is provided to students to help them with education-related expenses such as tuition fees, accommodation costs, books, and other supplies. Federal and Institutional grants remained the biggest sources for student loans in the United States with a cumulative sum of $106 billion.

United States student loans sources

  • Federal student loans – A federal student loan is made through a loan program administered by the federal government. These loans are made regardless of credit history Approval is automatic if the student meets program requirements. The student makes no payments while enrolled in at least half-time studies. The federal loans can sometimes be made to parents.
  • Private student loans – A private student loan is a non-federal loan made by a private lender like a bank or credit union. The terms and conditions are set by the lender, not the federal government. These loans are made to students or parents.
  • Federal Pell Grants – A Pell Grant is a subsidy the U.S. federal government provides loans for students who need it to pay for college. Federal Pell Grants are limited to students with financial need, who have not earned their first bachelor’s degree, or who are enrolled in certain post-baccalaureate programs, through participating institutions.
  • Federal Work-study and FSEOG – The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Federal Work-Study (FWS), and Federal Perkins Loan programs are called campus-based programs because they’re administered directly by the financial aid office at each participating school. Not all schools participate in all three programs

What is the percentage of college students who took out of federal loans?

Federal loans have been the leading source of funding for United States students. Over the last decade, federal loans accounted for at least 25% of all loans issued to students. Notably, the number of students benefiting from Federal loans over the last decade has fluctuated with 2018/19 recording the highest percentage at 35%.

What is the number of student loan borrowers in the US (2020)?

The number of students benefiting from student loans in the US has been increasing over the years. By 2020, about 45.4 million people in the US had student loans. About 800,000 loan beneficiaries have outstanding student loans amounting to at least $200,000.

What is the per capita debt of the US university students by the state?

Per capita, student debt measures the average debt incurred per person in a given area in a specified period. It is calculated by dividing the area’s total population by its total population.

Currently, the District of Columbia has the highest per capita debt of university students in the US. The United States national average student debt per capita was $5,390.

Tips on managing student loans 

The United States student loans have reached crisis levels by contributing a big chunk to the overall household debt. Here are tips on managing student loans;

  1. Calculate and understand your total debt. The first step in dealing with your student loans is to understand what you’re dealing with.
  2. Deduct your student loan interest. Once tax season kicks in, deduct your student loan interest. You can reduce your taxable income by up to $2,500 on any interest you’ve paid for that tax year.
  3. Review and explore the grace period for repayment. Your lender may grant you a grace period after you graduate where you don’t need to make any payments toward your loan.
  4. Enable automatic repayment. Enrolling in automatic payments can lower your interest rate, depending on your lender.
  5. Explore alternative plans like graduated repayment, extended repayment, and pay as you earn.
  6. Defer payments. Depending on your loan type, you may opt for a deferment if you’re in school, unemployed, experiencing economic hardship, an active military member, or another approved situation.
  7. Explore loan forgiveness. Loan forgiveness is offered when a certain area, such as a low-income area or rural community, is lacking a specific profession.

Pros of paying off student loans early

  • Early loan repayment frees you from debt faster and provides a guaranteed return on your money by saving money in interest.
  • Early payment means you no longer have to contend with monthly payments and accruing interest, saving up money for other expenses.
  • Lowers debt to income ratio which makes it easier for you to get approved for a mortgage and other loans.

Cons of paying off student loans early

  • You pay a higher interest rate on future loans
  • You forfeit the tax advantage
  • Paying off your student loans early could drain your emergency fund
  • Might reduce ones eligibility for payday loans

The overviewed data is subject to being updated regularly once new information is available from the authorized sources.

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Justinas Baltrusaitis

Justin is an editor, writer, and a downhill fan. He spent many years writing about finances, blockchain, and crypto-related news. He strives to serve the untold stories for the readers.

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