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Shocking Student Debt Statistics

These numbers are jaw-dropping, to say the least!

Elizabeth Hoyt

May 04, 2017

Shocking Student Debt Statistics
Everyone wants a slice of the American Dream and, in this modern day, going to college is essential to success. Forget the Jones’, these days Americans are finding it increasingly difficult to keep up with the student loans they took out to help ensure future success. So, what happens when the very institution that’s supposed to safeguard your future now sabotages it with years of debt? Experts aren't completely agreed upon in terms of how to go about solving the crisis but, judging by these numbers, we’d say the issue runs pretty deep.

$1.31 trillion

The amount of outstanding student loan debt balances as of December 31, 2016, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. It first exceeded $1 trillion in March 2012.

44.2 million

The number of American borrowers who have student loan debt, according to Student Loan Hero.

$2,667.20 per second

The amount student loan debt is increasing every second, and has been since 2006, according to MarketWatch. The site even has a handy-but-scary student loan debt clock that shows student debt amounts in real time.

Number 2

The ranking of student loan debt (10%) compared to other types of consumer debt is second only to mortgages, which make up 67%. For perspective, auto loans are at 9%.


The percentage of students who graduate college with debt, according to MarketWatch.

$31 billion

The amount by which student loan balances increased in one quarter (third quarter to fourth quarter) in 2016.


The percentage of borrowers who are actually paying down their student debt, according to MarketWatch.


The percentage of student loan debt that was 90 or more days delinquent/default – just in the fourth quarter of 2016. To put this in perspective, delinquent credit card loan debt is 7%; auto loans at 4%.


The average amount a class of 2016 graduate has, according to Student Loan Hero. Note: this is 6% higher than last year.

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