How Many Americans Have Student Loan Debt in 2022?

Last Updated: September 23, 2022
Find out how many Americans have student loan debt and the current US administration’s program on student debt relief.
How Many Americans Have Student Loan Debt
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Quick Answer 🔍

How many Americans have student loan debt in 2022?

45 million Americans have student loan debt.

Many are interested in finding out how many Americans have student loan debt. If you are one of them, this article is for you.

The cost of going to college in the United States has increased over the years. This is exactly why many have turned to student loans to survive their way through.

Today, earning a college diploma remains a powerful passport toward achieving a social status upgrade. 

However, going there comes with a price–an exorbitant one–and its remnants, expressed through debt, linger for far longer than imagined.

This makes people think twice about whether entering college is really worth the sweat.

How Many Americans Have Student Loan Debt in 2022?

Right off the bat. 

The answer to the question is: 45 million Americans have student loan debt. 

This means one in every five citizens in the United States has had some form of loan from the government to support their undergraduate and graduate studies.

The US student loan debt, combining both federal and private loans, hit a record high of $1.7 trillion this year. 

Age Demographics of US Student Loan Holders

A significant percentage of borrowers are found in each age group. Take a look at this data on the age demographics of student loan holders in the United States.

  • Below 30 years old – 26% of people belonging to this age group hold student loans
  • 30 to 39 years old – 28% of people belonging to this age group hold student loans
  • 40 to 49 years old – 13% of people belonging to this age group hold student loans
  • 50 to 59 years old – 12.5% of people belonging to this age group hold student loans
  • 60 years old and up – 5.3% of people belonging to this age group hold student loans

Cost of Attending College

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The overall cost of attending college increased over time. In the 1980’s, the average cost of college attendance per year is at $8,000.

Today, the number is hit $22,000 for the school year 2020-2021 which suggests a nearly triple increase on inputs. 

Moreover, this number only accounts for public colleges. Studies show that expenses on non-profit private schools and private universities are at a much higher level.

A year’s worth of expenses for a non-profit private school comes at an average cost of $46,950.

The numbers could go as high as $70,000 or more per year for students studying at private college institutions.

How Many and How Much Is Owed? 

Studies show that the debt balance ranging from $10,000 to $25,000 has the highest consolidation of borrowers.

Check out this data on the distribution of student loan debt makers versus the amount they owe.

  • 8.5 million people in the United States have a student loan balance worth more than $5,000
  • 7.4 million people in the United States have a student loan balance worth between $5,000 to less than $10,000
  • 12.2 million people in the United States have a student loan balance worth between $10,000 to less than $25,000
  • 8.6 million people in the United States have a student loan balance worth between $25,000 to less than $50,000
  • 3.6 million people in the United States have a student loan balance worth between $50,000 to less than $75,000
  • 1.6 million people in the United States have a student loan balance worth between $75,000 to less than $100,000
  • 1.3 million people in the United States have a student loan balance worth between $100,000 to less than $150,000
  • 605,000 people in the United States have a student loan balance worth between $150,000 to less than $200,000
  • 609,000 people in the United States have a student loan balance worth more than $200,000

US States With the Highest Student Loan Debt Average

Take a look at the US takes with the highest student loan debt average per person. New Hampshire took the top spot at $39,928.

  • New Hampshire – the state recorded a student loan average of $39,928 per person
  • Delaware – the state recorded a student loan average of $39,705 per person
  • Pennsylvania – the state recorded a student loan average of $39,375 per person
  • Rhode Island – the state recorded a student loan average of $36,791 per person
  • Connecticut – the state recorded a student loan average of $35,853 per person

US States With the Lowest Student Loan Debt Average

Take a look at the US takes with the lowest student loan debt average per person. 

  • Utah – the state recorded a student loan average of $18,344 per person
  • New Mexico – the state recorded a student loan average of $20,868 per person
  • California – the state recorded a student loan average of $21,125 per person
  • Nevada – the state recorded a student loan average of $21,357 per person
  • Wyoming – the state recorded a student loan average of $23,510 per person

President Biden’s Student Loan Relief

The current US administration recently announced plans to relieve the student loans of borrowers who are most vulnerable to struggling with debt repayment due to economic constraints. 

According to the fact sheet released in August 24, a $20,000 debt cancellation will be granted to Pell Grant recipients, and a $10,000 relief for non-Pell Grant borrowers.

This is under the condition that the borrower’s indivudual income should be less than $125,000. For married couples, the combined income should be less than $250,000.

This is to ensure that no high-income borrower will benefit from the program.

Temporary Pause on Federal Loan Repayment is Extended Again

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Since many households still struggle from the economic spillovers of the pandemic, the US governement announced the extension of the pause in federal loan repayment again. 

Borrowers will not be charged from paying their student loans until December 31, 2022, which will be the last time the temporary pause on repayments will be in place.

Settling of dues will resume as usual starting January 2023.

Conclusion

One in five Americans have student loan debt. This speaks a lot about the high cost of going to college in the country, which citizens are willing to risk with hopes of climbing the economic ladder.

In general, a bachelor’s degree holder makes $1 million more than a high school graduate.

Still, repayments seem harder to come by as unemployment and underemployment continues to take hold along with the soaring inflation and sky-high mortgage dues. 

Thanks for reading our article on how many Americans have student loan debt.

Sources

White HouseForbesValue Penguin
College BoardEducation DataBrookings
ForbesInvestopediaValue Penguin

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Written by Jason Wise

Hi! I’m Jason. I tend to gravitate towards business and technology topics, with a deep interest in social media, privacy and crypto. I enjoy testing and reviewing products, so you’ll see a lot of that from me here on EarthWeb.