Student Loan Debt Statistics: 2024

U.S. student loan debt totals $1.74 trillion as of September 2023.
Anna Helhoski
Eliza Haverstock
By Eliza Haverstock and  Anna Helhoski 
Updated
Edited by Karen Gaudette Brewer

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In 2024, student loan borrowers in the United States owe a collective $1.74 trillion in federal and private student loan debt, according to the most recent quarterly tally by the Federal Reserve.

Federal Reserve. Consumer Credit Outstanding. Accessed Jan 31, 2024.

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Here are the key 2024 student loan debt statistics to know, including how much borrowers owe, the types of loans they have and how they're repaying them.

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Average student loan debt

Fifty-four percent of bachelor’s degree recipients graduated with student debt in 2020-21, according to the most recent data available from College Board. Among these graduates, the average student debt burden was $29,100

.

The average U.S. household with student debt owes $55,347, according to NerdWallet’s 2023 household debt study.

Here's what average student loan debt by type:

Debt type

Average debt

$29,100

$77,300

$29,526

$132,740

$51,850

$206,924

$293,900

$167,711

$40,000 - $54,999

$147,258

1. 2022 College Board 2. 2019-20 National Center for Education Statistics 3. Q4 2023, Federal Student Aid Portfolio 4. 2019-20 National Center for Education Statistics 5. 2019-20 National Center for Education Statistics 6. 2023 Association of American Medical Colleges 7. 2022 American Dental Education Association 8. 2023 American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy 9. 2017 American Association of Colleges of Nursing 10. 2022 American Veterinary Medical Association

Who has student loan debt?

Roughly 43 million Americans have outstanding federal student loan debt — that's about 13% of the U.S. population, per census data.

Borrowers between the ages of 35 and 49 hold the most student debt, on average. Here’s the full breakdown by age group:

Age group

Total outstanding debt

Number of borrowers

Average debt per borrower

24 and younger

$100 billion

7.1 million

$14,085

25-34

$491.4 billion

15 million

$32,760

35-49

$624.4 billion

14.6 million

$42,767

50-61

$278.5 billion

6.3 million

$44,206

62 and older

$109.8 billion

2.7 million

$40,666

Source: Federal Student Aid, Portfolio by Age Q4 2023.

Among student borrowers, women take out an average of $31,276, while men borrow an average of $29,270, according to a 2021 data analysis by the American Association of University Women.

Black women owe a disproportionate amount of student debt. They hold 43% more undergraduate debt and nearly 99% more graduate school debt than their white woman counterparts 12 months after graduation, according to an April 2022 study by the nonprofit organization The Education Trust.

Total federal student loan debt

Most student loans — about 92.5% — are owned by the government.

  • Total federal student loan borrowers: 43.2 million.

  • Total outstanding federal student loan debt: $1.60 trillion.

Total private student loan debt

Private student loans account for 7.52% of all outstanding U.S. student loans as of September 2023.

  • Total outstanding private student loan debt: $130.28 billion.

Total Parent PLUS loan debt

Parents have one federal student loan option to help pay for their children's education: parent PLUS loans.

  • Total parent PLUS debt: $112.2 billion.

  • Total parent PLUS borrowers: 3.8 million. 

  • Average parent PLUS loan debt: $29,526.

Source: Federal Student Aid, Portfolio by Loan Type Q4 2023.

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