Average Student Loan Debt in America 2019 - Elite Personal Finance
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Average Student Loan Debt in America 2019

EPF Last Update: December 17, 2018

A student loan is another debt that has overburdened the economic status of America.  This is because the debt has ballooned with over 300% since 2004, as the new students enrol and the older ones graduate from universities and colleges. For example, the average student loan debt for 2017 graduates was $39,400 which is almost 6% from that of 2016 graduates.  The approximate number of student loan borrowers is 44.2million with the outstanding debt of $1.52trillion which will be carried over to 2019($620B more than the American’s total outstanding credit card debt,) leading to an average debt of $32,731 as per the Federal Reserve report. Below is a breakdown of US student loan debt by loan program, loan type, state, age, and balance.

Student loan debt by loan programs

Loan program Loan borrowers in million (M) Total loan debt in billions (B) Average student loan debt in dollars($)
Direct loans 32.1 $1,003.3 31,255.5
FFEL loans 15.7 $320.5 20,414.0
Perkins loans 2.6 $7.9 3,038.5
Total federal loans 42.3 $1,331.7 31,482.3


From the table, the direct student loan program has the highest number of borrowers (32.1 million) therefore, holding the massive debt of $1,003.3 billion in the 2017 debt analysis.  On the contrary, the Perkins loan program was preferred by the least number of borrowers hence, least amount of debts.

Student loan debt by loan type

According to the government portfolio, there are seven student loan types where a significant number of students prefer the Stafford Combined. On the other hand, the Perkins loan type has the least borrowers, therefore, disbursing the least student loan of $7.9 billion in 2017.

Loan type No. of borrowers in million(M) Total debts in billions Average student loan debt in dollars($)
Stafford subsidized 29.4 $272.5 9,268.7
Stafford unsubsidized 27.9 $449.6 16,114.7
Stafford combined 32.6 $722.2 22,153.4
Grad PLUS 1.1 $55.7 50,636.4
Parent PLUS 3.4 $81.5 23,970.6
Perkins 2.6 $7.9 3,038.5
Consolidation 12.0 $464.5 38,708.3


To determine the average student loan debt, you need to subdivide the total debt by the number of borrowers.

Student loan debt by state

The 2017 student loan statistics by state shows that 74% of the graduates from West Virginia, New Hampshire, and South Dakota had an average debt of $27,505, $34,415, and $31,275 respectively. On the other hand, 38% of graduates from Utah held an average loan debt of $18,838. Besides, that only 57% of the Connecticut graduates left some debt, the state carried the largest average student loan debt of $38,510.

State Average student loan debt in dollars ($) Student loan debt in percentage (%)
Alaska 25,682 46
Wyoming 22,524 47
Utah 18,838 38
California 22,785 50
Montana 28,466 59
New Jersey 32,247 61
Colorado 26,530 52
New York 30,931 60
Oregano 27,885 56
Idaho 26,675 61
North Dakota
Florida 24,041 50
Hawaii 25,125 49
Washington DC 30,775 36
Washington 23,936 52
Oklahoma 25,952 49
New Mexico 21,237 54
Maryland 29,314 56
Nevada 22,064 49
Virginia 29,887 56
Texas 26,824 55
South Dakota 31,275 74
Connecticut 38,510 57
Illinois 29,214 61
Louisiana 27,210 48
North Carolina 26,526 57
Kentucky 28,447 64
Delaware 34,144 62
Alabama 31,899 50
Arizona 23,967 54
Georgia 28,653 57
West Virginia 27,505 74
Kansas 27,720 59
Indiana 29,561 57
New Hampshire 34,415 74
Minnesota 31,734 68
Arkansas 26,799 55
Iowa 29,859 63
Mississippi 30,439 58
Vermont 30,651 60
Missouri 27,108 58
Wisconsin 29,569 64
Massachusetts 32,065 59
Tennessee 25,252 56
Nebraska 25,750 54
Rhode Island 36,250 64
Michigan 31,289 58
Pennsylvania 36,854 67
Maine 31,364 56
South Carolina 30,891 58
Ohio 30,629 62


Average student loan debt by age

According to the 2017 Elite Personal finance data analysis, individuals within the range of 30-39 years had the most significant debt amounting to $461.0B while those above 60 years account for the least student loan debt of $85.4B. The reason may be that a considerable number of students under the age of 30 depend entirely on their parents or guardians while the majority of those between 30 and 39 are newly independent. Under several occasions responsibilities emerge within the age bracket; by the time you get to 40 years, you will have adapted to life to the extent of becoming financially stable. Finally, the elderly students (beyond 60 years) are fewer compared to the rest, and in several occasions, self-sponsored since they already have some financial confidence. For your information, the average debt depends entirely on the number of borrowers.

Age bracket in years No. of borrowers in million Total debt in billions Average student loan debt
Below 30 16.8 $383.8 $22,845.2
30-39 12.3 $461.0 $37,479.7
40-49 7.3 $278.9 $38,205.5
50-59 5.2 $177.2 $34,076.9
Above 60 3.2 $85.4 $26,687.5


Average student loan debt by balance

According to the recent report, since 2004 the outstanding student loan debt has been increasing by 80 billion dollars per annum, moving the debt from $1.3 billion to $1.52trillion. From the analysis, above 12 million students lies between a debt of 10,000 dollars and 25,000 dollars, while only 604,900 students borrow a loan between $150,000 and 200,000. On the other hand, the private students have also been borrowing from private lenders, where the outstanding debt has been climbing up by around 20% since 2014 pushing it to $113.2 billion in 2017.

Average debt range in dollars ($) No. of borrowers
Below 5,000 8,547,500
5,000-10,000 7,425,400
10,000-25,000 12,277,200
25,000-50,000 8,609,700
50,000-75,000 3,681,000
75,000-100,000 1,612,600
100,000-150,000 1,347,400
150,000-200,000 604,900
Above 200,000 609,800


Since the year 2004, the average student loan debt has been ballooning inconsiderate of the age bracket, overburdening the economy of the United States. This is because a significant number of students joining the higher learning institutions request for financial support from both the private and government lenders. The factor has pushed the average debt to $32,731 while crossing over to 2019.

Elite Personal Finance

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