Student Loan Debt by Age

Report Highlights. 35-year-olds have the highest average outstanding student loan debt at $42,600 per borrower; their typical end balance is 287% higher than the value of their original loan.

  • 1-in-3 adults under 30 owe 34% of all student loan debt, totaling $578 billion.
  • 34% of adults aged 18 to 29 years have student loan debt, making them more than twice as likely as adults in any other age group to have student debt.
  • Student borrowers aged 30 to 44 years owe 49% of the national student loan debt balance or $823 billion.

Related research includes Student Loan Debt Statistics | Student Loan Debt by Race | Student Loan Debt by Gender | Student Loan Debt by Year | Student Loan Refinancing

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Bar Graph: Percentage of Student Loan Debt Holders per Age Group

Student Loan Debt by Age

Charting student loan debt by age group is useful for tracking how education and financial policy changes affect consumers over time. Some variations in average student loan debt balances among age groups may be due to postgraduate and professional degrees. The rise and fall of interest rates are also a logical factor.

  • According to the Federal Reserve, 35-year-olds have an average student loan debt of $42,600.
  • The average 35-year-old’s student debt is 287% greater than the value of their original loan.
  • 30- to 60-year-olds have average loan debts that exceed the national average.
  • Borrowers 24 and younger owe an average of $16,500 in student loan debt.
  • 350,000 35- to 49-year-olds owe more than $200,000 in student loan debt.
  • 34% of 18- to 29-year-olds have student loan debt.
  • 49% of adults under 30 with a bachelor’s degree or higher have student loan debt.
  • 1% of adults over 60 have student loan debt.
  • In 2016, 15- to 23-year-olds took out an average of $12,090 in student loans per year.
  • Also in 2016, 60.4% of 24- to 29-year-old students collected an annual average of $11,030 in educational loans.
  • 62.3% of students aged 30 years or more collected an annual average of $10,940 in loans.
  • Adults aged 30 to 45 years owe nearly half of all student loan debt.
  • Adults 60 and over owe less than 2% of the national student loan debt.
  • 2.8 million or 5.3% of adults aged 60 years and older have a student loan debt balance.
  • 18- to 29-year-olds owe 34% of student loan debt.
  • 17.3 million or 26% of adults under 30 years old have student loan debt.
  • 12.1 million or 28% of adults in their 30s have student loan debt.
  • 6.8 million or 13% of adults in their 40s have student loan debt.
  • 5.2 million or 12.5% of adults in their 50s have student loan debt.

Average remaining student loan debt by age group on Education Data Initiative

Federal Student Loan Debt by Age

While the Federal Reserve tracks all student loan debt, federal and private, over 90% of student loan debt is federal.

  • Federal borrowers 24 years old and younger owe an average of $14,434.
  • Federal debt among 24-and-under borrowers has declined 3.6% since 2017.
  • Federal borrowers aged 25 to 34 owe an average debt of $33,570.
  • Debt among 25- to 34-year-olds has increased 6.1% since 2017.
  • 35- to 49-year-olds owe an average federal debt of $43,208.
  • Debt among 35- to 49-year-olds has increased 17.9% since 2017.
  • Federal borrowers aged 50 to 61 years owe an average $44,031.
  • Debt among 50- to 61-year-olds has increased 25.6% since 2017.
  • Among borrowers aged 62 and older, the average debt is $40,750.
  • Federal debt among borrowers aged 62 and older has increased 25.0% since 2017.
  • Borrowers who declined to report their age owe an average of $3,000 each; this value has not changed significantly since 2017.
  • Most borrowers are 25 to 34 years old.

Federal Student Loan Debt by Age & Location

State data reflect variations in the burden of debt among age groups; in some states, the average student debt consistently increases as the population ages, never declining.

  • In the District of Columbia, student borrowers under the age of 50 have the highest average debt among their peers.
  • In most states, 35- to 49-year-olds have the highest average debt and/or the highest total debt.
  • Borrowers aged 62 years and older who live in and around New England have the highest average debt among their peers.
  • States in which the oldest borrowers have the highest average debt, the majority of student loan debt belongs to 25- to 34-year-olds.
Average Debt Among Selected Age Groups
State Average Debt Among 35-49 Average Debt Among 50-61
Alabama $49,314 $45,655
Alaska $44,196 $45,349
Arizona $44,984 $43,271
Arkansas $44,248 $41,393
California $48,211 $45,274
Colorado $47,494 $48,121
Connecticut $43,618 $49,339
Delaware $47,863 $51,934
D.C. $70,605 $51,515
Florida $47,936 $46,345
Georgia $54,798 $54,530
Hawaii $48,580 $50,289
Idaho $43,555 $42,424
Illinois $48,685 $49,412
Indiana $42,217 $42,845
Iowa $39,855 $38,899
Kansas $42,757 $42,715
Kentucky $41,180 $38,918
Louisiana $46,522 $41,955
Maine $42,578 $42,672
Maryland $55,459 $56,330
Massachusetts $44,793 $47,324
Michigan $45,620 $43,902
Minnesota $45,314 $44,352
Mississippi $50,000 $45,215
Missouri $45,235 $44,059
Montana $44,529 $41,916
Nebraska $42,478 $41,196
Nevada $42,743 $41,916
New Hampshire $44,493 $50,000
New Jersey $45,224 $51,027
New Mexico $42,519 $42,598
New York $48,883 $48,125
North Carolina $49,022 $46,845
North Dakota $41,379 $40,000
Ohio $43,549 $44,119
Oklahoma $39,754 $39,736
Oregon $47,219 $44,134
Pennsylvania $46,377 $46,926
Puerto Rico $35,505 $30,623
Rhode Island $40,469 $42,941
South Carolina $50,230 $47,638
South Dakota $43,750 $40,000
Tennessee $46,947 $45,278
Texas $43,091 $43,149
Utah $45,382 $43,333
Vermont $51,295 $52,577
Virginia $50,897 $51,195
Washington $44,949 $44,309
West Virginia $39,783 $37,543
Wisconsin $41,860 $42,191
Wyoming $40,000 $40,000

Student Debt by Age in Alabama

Most debt belongs to 25- to 34-year-olds; 35- to 49-year-olds owe the most on average, exceeding 50- to 61-year-olds by 8.0%.

  • 114,500 federal borrowers aged 24 years and younger owe an average $14,585 each for a total of $1.67 billion.
  • 207,100 borrowers aged 25 to 34 owe an average $34,283 each for a total of $7.10 billion.
  • 196,700 35- to 49-year-olds owe an average $49,314 for a total of $9.70 billion.
  • 86,300 50- to 61-year-olds owe an average $45,655, totaling $3.94 billion.
  • 27,800 federal borrowers aged 62 years and older owe an average $40,288, totaling $1.12 billion.

Student Debt by Age in Alaska

Most debt belongs to 35- to 49-year-olds; 50- to 61-year-olds owe the most on average, exceeding 35- to 49-year-olds by 2.6%.

  • 9,100 federal borrowers aged 24 years and younger owe an average $10,989 each for a total of $100 million.
  • 24,600 borrowers aged 25 to 34 owe an average $29,675 each for a total of $730 million.
  • 22,400 35- to 49-year-olds owe an average $44,196, totaling $990 million.
  • 8,600 50- to 61-year-olds owe an average $45,349, totaling $390 million.
  • 2,900 federal borrowers aged 62 years and older owe an average $41,379, totaling $120 million.

Student Debt by Age in Arizona

Most debt belongs to 35- to 49-year-olds; 35- to 49-year-olds owe the most on average, exceeding 50- to 61-year-olds by 4.0%.

  • 123,500 federal borrowers aged 24 years and younger owe an average $12,874 each for a total of $1.59 billion.
  • 300,900 borrowers aged 25 to 34 owe an average $31,339 each for a total of $9.43 billion.
  • 286,100 35- to 49-year-olds owe an average $44,984, totaling $12.87 billion.
  • 127,800 50- to 61-year-olds owe an average $43,271, totaling $5.53 billion.
  • 44,700 federal borrowers aged 62 years and older owe an average $41,611, totaling $1.86 billion.

Student Debt by Age in Arkansas

Most debt belongs to 35- to 49-year-olds; 35- to 49-year-olds owe the most on average, exceeding 50- to 61-year-olds by 6.9%.

  • 69,200 federal borrowers aged 24 years and younger owe an average $13,150 each for a total of $910 million.
  • 131,600 borrowers aged 25 to 34 owe an average $30,699 each for a total of $4.04 billion.
  • 124,300 35- to 49-year-olds owe an average $44,248, totaling $5.50 billion.
  • 48,800 50- to 61-year-olds owe an average $41,393, totaling $2.02 billion.
  • 14,700 federal borrowers aged 62 years and older owe an average $38,095, totaling $560 million.

Student Debt by Age in California

Most debt belongs to 35- to 49-year-olds; 35- to 49-year-olds owe the most on average, exceeding 50- to 61-year-olds by 6.5%.

  • 615,600 federal borrowers aged 24 years and younger owe an average $13,499 each for a total of $8.31 billion.
  • 1,463,400 borrowers aged 25 to 34 owe an average $34,092 each for a total of $49.89 billion.
  • 1,118,000 35- to 49-year-olds owe an average $48,211, totaling $53.90 billion.
  • 522,600 50- to 61-year-olds owe an average $45,274, totaling $23.66 billion.
  • 207,400 federal borrowers aged 62 years and older owe an average $43,057, totaling $8.93 billion.

Student Debt by Age in Colorado

Most debt belongs to 35- to 49-year-olds; 50- to 61-year-olds owe the most on average, exceeding 35- to 49-year-olds by 1.3%.

  • 118,500 federal borrowers aged 24 years and younger owe an average $13,418 each for a total of $1.59 billion.
  • 287,400 borrowers aged 25 to 34 owe an average $32,846 each for a total of $9.44 billion.
  • 239,400 35- to 49-year-olds owe an average $47,494, totaling $11.37 billion.
  • 95,800 50- to 61-year-olds owe an average $48,121, totaling $4.61 billion.
  • 31,700 federal borrowers aged 62 years and older owe an average $48,265, totaling $1.53 billion.

Student Debt by Age in Connecticut

Most debt belongs to 25- to 34-year-olds; borrowers 62 years and older owe the most on average, exceeding 50- to 61-year-olds by 6.6%.

  • 116,200 federal borrowers aged 24 years and younger owe an average $16,093 each for a total of $1.87 billion.
  • 170,400 borrowers aged 25 to 34 owe an average $34,448 each for a total of $5.87 billion.
  • 118,300 35- to 49-year-olds owe an average $43,618, totaling $5.16 billion.
  • 68,100 50- to 61-year-olds owe an average $49,339, totaling $3.36 billion.
  • 23,000 federal borrowers aged 62 years and older owe an average $52,609, totaling $1.21 billion.

Student Debt by Age in Delaware

Most debt belongs to 35- to 49-year-olds; 50- to 61-year-olds owe the most on average, exceeding borrowers aged 62 years and older by 3.9%.

  • 24,800 federal borrowers aged 24 years and younger owe an average $15,323 each for a total of $380 million.
  • 42,200 borrowers aged 25 to 34 owe an average $34,123 each for a total of $1.44 billion.
  • 35,100 35- to 49-year-olds owe an average $47,863, totaling $1.68 billion.
  • 18,100 50- to 61-year-olds owe an average $51,934, totaling $940 million.
  • 58,800 federal borrowers aged 62 years and older owe an average $50,000, totaling $290 million.

Student Debt by Age in District of Columbia

Most debt belongs to 25- to 34-year-olds; 35- to 49-year-olds owe the most on average, exceeding 25- to 34-year-olds by 24.5%.

  • 13,600 federal borrowers aged 24 years and younger owe an average $18,382 each for a total of $250 million.
  • 49,200 borrowers aged 25 to 34 owe an average $56,707 each for a total of $2.79 billion.
  • 34,700 35- to 49-year-olds owe an average $70,605, totaling $2.45 billion.
  • 13,200 50- to 61-year-olds owe an average $51,515, totaling $680 million.
  • 6,700 federal borrowers aged 62 years and older owe an average $50,000, totaling $290 million.

Student Debt by Age in Florida

Most debt belongs to 35- to 49-year-olds; 35- to 49-year-olds owe the most on average, exceeding 50- to 61-year-olds by 3.4%.

  • 354,100 federal borrowers aged 24 years and younger owe an average $14,177 each for a total of $5.02 billion.
  • 904,100 borrowers aged 25 to 34 owe an average $35,439 each for a total of $32.04 billion.
  • 845,000 35- to 49-year-olds owe an average $47,936, totaling $40.53 billion.
  • 373,500 50- to 61-year-olds owe an average $46,345, totaling $17.31 billion.
  • 128,100 federal borrowers aged 62 years and older owe an average $44,184, totaling $5.66 billion.

Student Debt by Age in Georgia

Most debt belongs to 35- to 49-year-olds; 35- to 49-year-olds owe the most on average, exceeding 50- to 61-year-olds by 0.5%.

  • 281,700 federal borrowers aged 24 years and younger owe an average $14,483 each for a total of $4.08 billion.
  • 543,400 borrowers aged 25 to 34 owe an average $36,621 each for a total of $19.9 billion.
  • 514,800 35- to 49-year-olds owe an average $54,798, totaling $28.21 billion.
  • 234,000 50- to 61-year-olds owe an average $54,530, totaling $12.76 billion.
  • 70,700 federal borrowers aged 62 years and older owe an average $50,212, totaling $3.55 billion.

Student Debt by Age in Hawaii

Most debt belongs to 35- to 49-year-olds; 50- to 61-year-olds owe the most on average, exceeding 35- to 49-year-olds by 3.5%.

  • 22,000 federal borrowers aged 24 years and younger owe an average $13,636 each for a total of $300 million.
  • 41,000 borrowers aged 25 to 34 owe an average $31,463 each for a total of $1.29 billion.
  • 35,200 35- to 49-year-olds owe an average $48,580, totaling $1.71 billion.
  • 17,300 50- to 61-year-olds owe an average $50,289, totaling $870 million.
  • 6,800 federal borrowers aged 62 years and older owe an average $48,529, totaling $330 million.

Student Debt by Age in Idaho

Most debt belongs to 35- to 49-year-olds; borrowers aged 62 and older owe the most on average, exceeding 35- to 49-year-olds by 0.4%.

  • 35,600 federal borrowers aged 24 years and younger owe an average $11,517 each for a total of $410 million.
  • 74,700 borrowers aged 25 to 34 owe an average $27,979 each for a total of $2.09 billion.
  • 73,700 35- to 49-year-olds owe an average $43,555, totaling $3.21 billion.
  • 26,400 50- to 61-year-olds owe an average $42,424, totaling $1.12 billion.
  • 8,000 federal borrowers aged 62 years and older owe an average $43,750, totaling $350 million.

Student Debt by Age in Illinois

Most debt belongs to 35- to 49-year-olds; 50- to 61-year-olds owe the most on average, exceeding 35- to 49-year-olds by 1.5%.

  • 326,400 federal borrowers aged 24 years and younger owe an average $15,472 each for a total of $5.05 billion.
  • 570,600 borrowers aged 25 to 34 owe an average $36,926 each for a total of $21.07 billion.
  • 433,400 35- to 49-year-olds owe an average $48,685, totaling $21.10 billion.
  • 221,200 50- to 61-year-olds owe an average $49,412, totaling $10.93 billion.
  • 81,000 federal borrowers aged 62 years and older owe an average $45,309, totaling $3.67 billion.

Student Debt by Age in Indiana

Most debt belongs to 35- to 49-year-olds; 50- to 61-year-olds owe the most on average, exceeding 35- to 49-year-olds by 1.5%.

  • 164,500 federal borrowers aged 24 years and younger owe an average $13,860 each for a total of $2.28 billion.
  • 309,400 borrowers aged 25 to 34 owe an average $29,864 each for a total of $9.24 billion.
  • 276,900 35- to 49-year-olds owe an average $42,217, totaling $11.69 billion.
  • 121,600 50- to 61-year-olds owe an average $42,845, totaling $5.21 billion.
  • 35,400 federal borrowers aged 62 years and older owe an average $42,373, totaling $1.50 billion.

Student Debt by Age in Iowa

Most debt belongs to 35- to 49-year-olds; 35- to 49-year-olds owe the most on average, exceeding 50- to 61-year-olds by 2.5%.

  • 92,400 federal borrowers aged 24 years and younger owe an average $14,069 each for a total of $1.30 billion.
  • 150,100 borrowers aged 25 to 34 owe an average $29,181 each for a total of $4.38 billion.
  • 124,200 35- to 49-year-olds owe an average $39,855, totaling $4.95 billion.
  • 52,700 50- to 61-year-olds owe an average $38,899, totaling $2.05 billion.
  • 15,200 federal borrowers aged 62 years and older owe an average $38,816, totaling $590 million.

Student Debt by Age in Kansas

Most debt belongs to 35- to 49-year-olds; 35- to 49-year-olds owe the most on average, exceeding 50- to 61-year-olds by 0.1%.

  • 74,100 federal borrowers aged 24 years and younger owe an average $13,630 each for a total of $1.01 billion.
  • 130,000 borrowers aged 25 to 34 owe an average $29,923 each for a total of $3.89 billion.
  • 114,600 35- to 49-year-olds owe an average $42,757, totaling $4.90 billion.
  • 50,100 50- to 61-year-olds owe an average $42,715, totaling $2.14 billion.
  • 15,700 federal borrowers aged 62 years and older owe an average $41,401, totaling $650 million.

Student Debt by Age in Kentucky

Most debt belongs to 35- to 49-year-olds; 35- to 49-year-olds owe the most on average, exceeding 50- to 61-year-olds by 5.8%.

  • 102,000 federal borrowers aged 24 years and younger owe an average $14,216 each for a total of $1.45 billion.
  • 208,800 borrowers aged 25 to 34 owe an average $31,897 each for a total of $6.66 billion.
  • 193,300 35- to 49-year-olds owe an average $41,180, totaling $7.96 billion.
  • 75,800 50- to 61-year-olds owe an average $38,918, totaling $2.95 billion.
  • 19,600 federal borrowers aged 62 years and older owe an average $35,714, totaling $700 million.

Student Debt by Age in Louisiana

Most debt belongs to 35- to 49-year-olds; 35- to 49-year-olds owe the most on average, exceeding 50- to 61-year-olds by 10.9%.

  • 128,900 federal borrowers aged 24 years and younger owe an average $13,809 each for a total of $1.78 billion.
  • 217,100 borrowers aged 25 to 34 owe an average $33,257 each for a total of $7.22 billion.
  • 194,100 35- to 49-year-olds owe an average $46,522, totaling $9.03 billion.
  • 80,800 50- to 61-year-olds owe an average $41,955, totaling $3.39 billion.
  • 28,700 federal borrowers aged 62 years and older owe an average $36,934, totaling $1.06 billion.

Student Debt by Age in Maine

Most debt belongs to 35- to 49-year-olds; borrowers aged 62 years and older owe the most on average, exceeding 50- to 51-year-olds by 11.5%.

  • 37,500 federal borrowers aged 24 years and younger owe an average $14,933 each for a total of $560 million.
  • 67,000 borrowers aged 25 to 34 owe an average $31,791 each for a total of $2.13 billion.
  • 51,200 35- to 49-year-olds owe an average $42,478, totaling $2.18 billion.
  • 23,200 50- to 61-year-olds owe an average $42,672, totaling $990 million.
  • 7,600 federal borrowers aged 62 years and older owe an average $47,368, totaling $360 million.

Student Debt by Age in Maryland

Most debt belongs to 35- to 49-year-olds; 50- to 61-year-olds owe the most on average, exceeding 35- to 49-year-olds by 1.6%.

  • 144,400 federal borrowers aged 24 years and younger owe an average $15,651 each for a total of $2.26 billion.
  • 280,700 borrowers aged 25 to 34 owe an average $38,831 each for a total of $10.90 billion.
  • 241,800 35- to 49-year-olds owe an average $55,459, totaling $13.41 billion.
  • 124,800 50- to 61-year-olds owe an average $56,330, totaling $7.03 billion.
  • 43,200 federal borrowers aged 62 years and older owe an average $53,935, totaling $2.33 billion.

Student Debt by Age in Massachusetts

Most debt belongs to 25- to 34-year-olds; borrowers aged 62 years and older owe the most on average, exceeding 50- to 61-year-olds by 6.0%.

  • 223,900 federal borrowers aged 24 years and younger owe an average $16,079 each for a total of $3.60 billion.
  • 342,600 borrowers aged 25 to 34 owe an average $35,201 each for a total of $12.06 billion.
  • 197,800 35- to 49-year-olds owe an average $44,793, totaling $8.86 billion.
  • 95,300 50- to 61-year-olds owe an average $47,324, totaling $4.51 billion.
  • 35,300 federal borrowers aged 62 years and older owe an average $50,142, totaling $1.77 billion.

Student Debt by Age in Michigan

Most debt belongs to 35- to 49-year-olds; 35- to 49-year-olds owe the most on average, exceeding 50- to 61-year-olds by 3.9%.

  • 247,100 federal borrowers aged 24 years and younger owe an average $15,500 each for a total of $3.83 billion.
  • 492,100 borrowers aged 25 to 34 owe an average $35,176 each for a total of $17.31 billion.
  • 412,100 35- to 49-year-olds owe an average $45,620, totaling $18.80 billion.
  • 196,800 50- to 61-year-olds owe an average $43,902, totaling $8.64 billion.
  • 63,600 federal borrowers aged 62 years and older owe an average $40,252, totaling $2.56 billion.

Student Debt by Age in Minnesota

Most debt belongs to 35- to 49-year-olds; 35- to 49-year-olds owe the most on average, exceeding 50- to 61-year-olds by 2.2%.

  • 167,500 federal borrowers aged 24 years and younger owe an average $14,388 each for a total of $2.41 billion.
  • 293,600 borrowers aged 25 to 34 owe an average $32,050 each for a total of $9.41 billion.
  • 219,800 35- to 49-year-olds owe an average $45,314, totaling $9.96 billion.
  • 84,100 50- to 61-year-olds owe an average $44,352, totaling $3.73 billion.
  • 25,600 federal borrowers aged 62 years and older owe an average $42,578, totaling $1.09 billion.

Student Debt by Age in Mississippi

Most debt belongs to 35- to 49-year-olds; 35- to 49-year-olds owe the most on average, exceeding 50- to 61-year-olds by 10.6%.

  • 73,200 federal borrowers aged 24 years and younger owe an average $13,388 each for a total of $980 million.
  • 142,900 borrowers aged 25 to 34 owe an average $32,470 each for a total of $4.64 billion.
  • 141,000 35- to 49-year-olds owe an average $50,000, totaling $7.05 billion.
  • 60,600 50- to 61-year-olds owe an average $45,215, totaling $2.74 billion.
  • 19,900 federal borrowers aged 62 years and older owe an average $40,201, totaling $800 million.

Student Debt by Age in Missouri

Most debt belongs to 35- to 49-year-olds; 35- to 49-year-olds owe the most on average, exceeding 50- to 61-year-olds by 2.7%.

  • 139,100 federal borrowers aged 24 years and younger owe an average $14,594 each for a total of $2.03 billion.
  • 284,400 borrowers aged 25 to 34 owe an average $32,736 each for a total of $9.31 billion.
  • 257,100 35- to 49-year-olds owe an average $45,235, totaling $11.63 billion.
  • 115,300 50- to 61-year-olds owe an average $44,049, totaling $5.08 billion.
  • 37,700 federal borrowers aged 62 years and older owe an average $41,114, totaling $1.55 billion.

Student Debt by Age in Montana

Most debt belongs to 35- to 49-year-olds; 35- to 49-year-olds owe the most on average, exceeding borrowers aged 62 years and older by 5.8%.

  • 21,100 federal borrowers aged 24 years and younger owe an average $12,322 each for a total of $260 million.
  • 43,700 borrowers aged 25 to 34 owe an average $29,519 each for a total of $1.29 billion.
  • 39,300 35- to 49-year-olds owe an average $44,529, totaling $1.75 billion.
  • 16,700 50- to 61-year-olds owe an average $41,916, totaling $700 million.
  • 5,700 federal borrowers aged 62 years and older owe an average $42,105, totaling $240 million.

Student Debt by Age in Nebraska

Most debt belongs to 35- to 49-year-olds; 35- to 49-year-olds owe the most on average, exceeding 50- to 61-year-olds by 3.1%.

  • 53,800 federal borrowers aged 24 years and younger owe an average $13,755 each for a total of $740 million.
  • 87,600 borrowers aged 25 to 34 owe an average $31,507 each for a total of $2.76 billion.
  • 67,800 35- to 49-year-olds owe an average $42,478, totaling $2.88 billion.
  • 30,100 50- to 61-year-olds owe an average $41,196, totaling $1.24 billion.
  • 8,800 federal borrowers aged 62 years and older owe an average $39,773, totaling $350 million.

Student Debt by Age in Nevada

Most debt belongs to 35- to 49-year-olds; 35- to 49-year-olds owe the most on average, exceeding 50- to 61-year-olds by 2.0%.

  • 46,500 federal borrowers aged 24 years and younger owe an average $11,828 each for a total of $550 million.
  • 119,700 borrowers aged 25 to 34 owe an average $29,657 each for a total of $3.55 billion.
  • 112,300 35- to 49-year-olds owe an average $42,743, totaling $4.80 billion.
  • 50,100 50- to 61-year-olds owe an average $41,916, totaling $2.10 billion.
  • 18,900 federal borrowers aged 62 years and older owe an average $39,683, totaling $750 million.

Student Debt by Age in New Hampshire

Most debt belongs to 25- to 49-year-olds; borrowers aged 62 years and older owe the most on average, exceeding 50- to 61-year-olds by 4.1%.

  • 43,500 federal borrowers aged 24 years and younger owe an average $15,402 each for a total of $670 million.
  • 69,900 borrowers aged 25 to 34 owe an average $31,474 each for a total of $2.20 billion.
  • 45,400 35- to 49-year-olds owe an average $44,493, totaling $2.02 billion.
  • 24,000 50- to 61-year-olds owe an average $50,000, totaling $1.20 billion.
  • 7,300 federal borrowers aged 62 years and older owe an average $52,055, totaling $380 million.

Student Debt by Age in New Jersey

Most debt belongs to 25- to 34-year-olds; 50- to 61-year-olds owe the most on average, exceeding borrowers aged 62 years and older by 0.4%.

  • 281,600 federal borrowers aged 24 years and younger owe an average $15,980 each for a total of $4.50 billion.
  • 430,800 borrowers aged 25 to 34 owe an average $35,190 each for a total of $15.16 billion.
  • 272,200 35- to 49-year-olds owe an average $45,224, totaling $12.31 billion.
  • 150,900 50- to 61-year-olds owe an average $51,027, totaling $7.70 billion.
  • 54,700 federal borrowers aged 62 years and older owe an average $50,823, totaling $2.78 billion.

Student Debt by Age in New Mexico

Most debt belongs to 35- to 49-year-olds; borrowers aged 62 years and older owe the most on average, exceeding 50- to 61-year-olds by 4.1%.

  • 27,300 federal borrowers aged 24 years and younger owe an average $11,355 each for a total of $310 million.
  • 74,700 borrowers aged 25 to 34 owe an average $27,845 each for a total of $2.08 billion.
  • 80,200 35- to 49-year-olds owe an average $42,519, totaling $3.41 billion.
  • 33,100 50- to 61-year-olds owe an average $42,598, totaling $1.41 billion.
  • 12,400 federal borrowers aged 62 years and older owe an average $44,355, totaling $550 million.

Student Debt by Age in New York

Most debt belongs to 25- to 34-year-olds; 35- to 49-year-olds owe the most on average, exceeding 50- to 61-year-olds by 1.6%.

  • 502,100 federal borrowers aged 24 years and younger owe an average $16,033 each for a total of $8.05 billion.
  • 886,700 borrowers aged 25 to 34 owe an average $38,199 each for a total of $33.80 billion.
  • 609,000 35- to 49-year-olds owe an average $48,883, totaling $29.77 billion.
  • 322,700 50- to 61-year-olds owe an average $48,125, totaling $15.53 billion.
  • 127,900 federal borrowers aged 62 years and older owe an average $45,270, totaling $5.79 billion.

Student Debt by Age in North Carolina

Most debt belongs to 35- to 49-year-olds; 35- to 49-year-olds owe the most on average, exceeding 50- to 61-year-olds by 4.6%.

  • 242,200 federal borrowers aged 24 years and younger owe an average $15,277 each for a total of $3.70 billion.
  • 444,500 borrowers aged 25 to 34 owe an average $35,703 each for a total of $15.87 billion.
  • 383,500 35- to 49-year-olds owe an average $49,022, totaling $18.80 billion.
  • 179,100 50- to 61-year-olds owe an average $46,845, totaling $8.39 billion.
  • 51,600 federal borrowers aged 62 years and older owe an average $44,574, totaling $2.30 billion.

Student Debt by Age in North Dakota

Most debt belongs to 35- to 49-year-olds; 35- to 49-year-olds owe the most on average, exceeding borrowers aged 62 years and older by 1.1%.

  • 21,300 federal borrowers aged 24 years and younger owe an average $13,615 each for a total of $290 million.
  • 33,200 borrowers aged 25 to 34 owe an average $27,410 each for a total of $910 million.
  • 23,200 35- to 49-year-olds owe an average $41,379, totaling $960 million.
  • 7,500 50- to 61-year-olds owe an average $40,000, totaling $300 million.
  • 2,200 federal borrowers aged 62 years and older owe an average $40,909, totaling $90 million.

Student Debt by Age in Ohio

Most debt belongs to 35- to 49-year-olds; 50- to 61-year-olds owe the most on average, exceeding 35- to 49-year-olds by 1.3%.

  • 320,900 federal borrowers aged 24 years and younger owe an average $14,771 each for a total of $4.74 billion.
  • 607,900 borrowers aged 25 to 34 owe an average $32,900 each for a total of $20.00 billion.
  • 541,000 35- to 49-year-olds owe an average $43,549, totaling $23.56 billion.
  • 245,700 50- to 61-year-olds owe an average $44,119, totaling $10.84 billion.
  • 81,500 federal borrowers aged 62 years and older owe an average $41,227, totaling $3.36 billion.

Student Debt by Age in Oklahoma

Most debt belongs to 35- to 49-year-olds; 35- to 49-year-olds owe the most on average, exceeding 50- to 61-year-olds by 0.0%.

  • 74,700 federal borrowers aged 24 years and younger owe an average $12,718 each for a total of $950 million.
  • 157,300 borrowers aged 25 to 34 owe an average $27,972 each for a total of $4.40 billion.
  • 162,500 35- to 49-year-olds owe an average $39,754, totaling $6.46 billion.
  • 68,200 50- to 61-year-olds owe an average $39,736, totaling $2.71 billion.
  • 23,600 federal borrowers aged 62 years and older owe an average $37,712, totaling $890 million.

Student Debt by Age in Oregon

Most debt belongs to 35- to 49-year-olds; 35- to 49-year-olds owe the most on average, exceeding 50- to 61-year-olds by 7.0%.

  • 69,300 federal borrowers aged 24 years and younger owe an average $13,276 each for a total of $920 million.
  • 186,600 borrowers aged 25 to 34 owe an average $32,851 each for a total of $6.13 billion.
  • 187,000 35- to 49-year-olds owe an average $47,219, totaling $8.83 billion.
  • 71,600 50- to 61-year-olds owe an average $44,134, totaling $3.16 billion.
  • 26,500 federal borrowers aged 62 years and older owe an average $43,396, totaling $1.15 billion.

Student Debt by Age in Pennsylvania

Most debt belongs to 25- to 34-year-olds; 50- to 61-year-olds owe the most on average, exceeding 35- to 49-year-olds by 1.2%.

  • 405,100 federal borrowers aged 24 years and younger owe an average $15,996 each for a total of $6.48 billion.
  • 661,000 borrowers aged 25 to 34 owe an average $35,053 each for a total of $23.17 billion.
  • 447,200 35- to 49-year-olds owe an average $46,377, totaling $20.74 billion.
  • 231,000 50- to 61-year-olds owe an average $46,926, totaling $10.84 billion.
  • 75,100 federal borrowers aged 62 years and older owe an average $45,539, totaling $3.42 billion.

Student Debt by Age in Puerto Rico

Most debt belongs to 35- to 49-year-olds; 35- to 49-year-olds owe the most on average, exceeding 50- to 61-year-olds by 15.9%.

  • 49,500 federal borrowers aged 24 years and younger owe an average $10,505 each for a total of $520 million.
  • 122,200 borrowers aged 25 to 34 owe an average $28,723 each for a total of $3.51 billion.
  • 105,900 35- to 49-year-olds owe an average $35,505, totaling $3.76 billion.
  • 36,900 50- to 61-year-olds owe an average $30,623, totaling $1.13 billion.
  • 11,800 federal borrowers aged 62 years and older owe an average $27,119, totaling $320 million.

Student Debt by Age in Rhode Island

Most debt belongs to 25- to 34-year-olds; borrowers aged 62 years and older owe the most on average, exceeding 50- to 61-year-olds by 10.5%.

  • 30,700 federal borrowers aged 24 years and younger owe an average $15,309 each for a total of $470 million.
  • 54,000 borrowers aged 25 to 34 owe an average $32,222 each for a total of $1.74 billion.
  • 34,100 35- to 49-year-olds owe an average $40,469, totaling $1.38 billion.
  • 17,000 50- to 61-year-olds owe an average $42,941, totaling $730 million.
  • 5,900 federal borrowers aged 62 years and older owe an average $47,458, totaling $280 million.

Student Debt by Age in South Carolina

Most debt belongs to 35- to 49-year-olds; 35- to49 -year-olds owe the most on average, exceeding 50- to 61-year-olds by 5.4%.

  • 134,300 federal borrowers aged 24 years and younger owe an average $15,264 each for a total of $2.05 billion.
  • 246,700 borrowers aged 25 to 34 owe an average $36,482 each for a total of $9.00 billion.
  • 217,200 35- to 49-year-olds owe an average $50,230, totaling $10.91 billion.
  • 99,500 50- to 61-year-olds owe an average $47,638, totaling $4.72 billion.
  • 31,000 federal borrowers aged 62 years and older owe an average $43,548, totaling $1.35 billion.

Student Debt by Age in South Dakota

Most debt belongs to 35- to 49-year-olds; 35- to 49-year-olds owe the most on average, exceeding borrowers aged 62 years and older by 6.6%.

  • 28,100 federal borrowers aged 24 years and younger owe an average $14,235 each for a total of $400 million.
  • 41,600 borrowers aged 25 to 34 owe an average $30,288 each for a total of $1.26 billion.
  • 30,400 35- to 49-year-olds owe an average $43,750, totaling $1.33 billion.
  • 12,500 50- to 61-year-olds owe an average $40,000, totaling $500 million.
  • 3,900 federal borrowers aged 62 years and older owe an average $41,026, totaling $160 million.

Student Debt by Age in Tennessee

Most debt belongs to 35- to 49-year-olds; 35- to 49-year-olds owe the most on average, exceeding 50- to 61-year-olds by 3.7%.

  • 141,700 federal borrowers aged 24 years and younger owe an average $14,397 each for a total of $2.04 billion.
  • 308,100 borrowers aged 25 to 34 owe an average $33,755 each for a total of $10.40 billion.
  • 263,700 35- to 49-year-olds owe an average $46,947, totaling $12.38 billion.
  • 113,300 50- to 61-year-olds owe an average $45,278, totaling $5.13 billion.
  • 33,000 federal borrowers aged 62 years and older owe an average $43,030, totaling $1.42 billion.

Student Debt by Age in Texas

Most debt belongs to 35- to 49-year-olds; 50- to 61-year-olds owe the most on average, exceeding 35- to 49-year-olds by 0.1%.

  • 642,000 federal borrowers aged 24 years and younger owe an average $13,121 each for a total of $8.43 billion.
  • 1,268,000 borrowers aged 25 to 34 owe an average $29,787 each for a total of $10.4 billion.
  • 1,110,200 35- to 49-year-olds owe an average $43,091, totaling $12.38 billion.
  • 459,800 50- to 61-year-olds owe an average $43,149, totaling $5.13 billion.
  • 144,400 federal borrowers aged 62 years and older owe an average $40,097, totaling $1.42 billion.

Student Debt by Age in Utah

Most debt belongs to 35- to 49-year-olds; 35- to 49-year-olds owe the most on average, exceeding borrowers aged 62 years and older by 1.4%.

  • 51,700 federal borrowers aged 24 years and younger owe an average $10,638 each for a total of $550 million.
  • 120,700 borrowers aged 25 to 34 owe an average $28,500 each for a total of $3.44 billion.
  • 100,700 35- to 49-year-olds owe an average $45,382, totaling $4.57 billion.
  • 27,000 50- to 61-year-olds owe an average $43,333, totaling $1.17 billion.
  • 7,600 federal borrowers aged 62 years and older owe an average $44,747, totaling $340 million.

Student Debt by Age in Vermont

Most debt belongs to 35- to 49-year-olds; borrowers aged 62 years and older owe the most on average, exceeding 50- to 61-year-olds by 10.1%.

  • 17,100 federal borrowers aged 24 years and younger owe an average $15,205 each for a total of $260 million.
  • 27,400 borrowers aged 25 to 34 owe an average $33,577 each for a total of $920 million.
  • 19,300 35- to 49-year-olds owe an average $51,295, totaling $990 million.
  • 9,700 50- to 61-year-olds owe an average $52,577, totaling $510 million.
  • 3,800 federal borrowers aged 62 years and older owe an average $57,895, totaling $220 million.

Student Debt by Age in Virginia

Most debt belongs to 35- to 49-year-olds; 50- to 61-year-olds owe the most on average, exceeding 35- to 49-year-olds by 0.6%.

  • 205,600 federal borrowers aged 24 years and younger owe an average $15,467 each for a total of $3.18 billion.
  • 376,700 borrowers aged 25 to 34 owe an average $37,138 each for a total of $13.99 billion.
  • 312,000 35- to 49-year-olds owe an average $50,897, totaling $15.88 billion.
  • 142,200 50- to 61-year-olds owe an average $51,195, totaling $7.28 billion.
  • 44,400 federal borrowers aged 62 years and older owe an average $48,649, totaling $2.16 billion.

Student Debt by Age in Washington

Most debt belongs to 35- to 49-year-olds; 35- to 49-year-olds owe the most on average, exceeding 50- to 61-year-olds by 1.4%.

  • 113,100 federal borrowers aged 24 years and younger owe an average $13,263 each for a total of $1.50 billion.
  • 275,700 borrowers aged 25 to 34 owe an average $31,991 each for a total of $8.82 billion.
  • 253,400 35- to 49-year-olds owe an average $44,949, totaling $11.39 billion.
  • 106,300 50- to 61-year-olds owe an average $44,309, totaling $4.71 billion.
  • 36,300 federal borrowers aged 62 years and older owe an average $44,077, totaling $1.60 billion.

Student Debt by Age in West Virginia

Most debt belongs to 35- to 49-year-olds; 35- to 49-year-olds owe the most on average, exceeding 50- to 61-year-olds by 6.0%.

  • 40,800 federal borrowers aged 24 years and younger owe an average $13,971 each for a total of $570 million.
  • 74,700 borrowers aged 25 to 34 owe an average $31,325 each for a total of $2.34 billion.
  • 73,900 35- to 49-year-olds owe an average $39,783, totaling $2.94 billion.
  • 29,300 50- to 61-year-olds owe an average $37,543, totaling $1.10 billion.
  • 8,600 federal borrowers aged 62 years and older owe an average $34,884, totaling $300 million.

Student Debt by Age in Wisconsin

Most debt belongs to 35- to 49-year-olds; 50- to 61-year-olds owe the most on average, exceeding 35- to 49-year-olds by 0.8%.

  • 154,500 federal borrowers aged 24 years and younger owe an average $14,434 each for a total of $2.23 billion.
  • 268,700 borrowers aged 25 to 34 owe an average $31,076 each for a total of $8.35 billion.
  • 202,100 35- to 49-year-olds owe an average $41,860, totaling $8.46 billion.
  • 79,400 50- to 61-year-olds owe an average $42,191, totaling $3.35 billion.
  • 23,000 federal borrowers aged 62 years and older owe an average $41,304, totaling $950 million.

Student Debt by Age in Wyoming

Most debt belongs to 35- to 49-year-olds; borrowers aged 62 years and older owe the most on average, exceeding 35- to 61-year-olds by 2.3%.

  • 8,500 federal borrowers aged 24 years and younger owe an average $10,588 each for a total of $90 million.
  • 17,900 borrowers aged 25 to 34 owe an average $26,257 each for a total of $470 million.
  • 18,500 35- to 49-year-olds owe an average $40,000, totaling $740 million.
  • 7,000 50- to 61-year-olds owe an average $40,000, totaling $280 million.
  • 2,200 federal borrowers aged 62 years and older owe an average $40,909, totaling $90 million.

Student Debt in Other Locations

Some student loan borrowers live in other U.S. territories or overseas. There is also a significant percentage of student borrowers who decline to report their current location.

  • 13,500 federal borrowers aged 24 years and younger reported their location as “other.”
  • Among these borrowers aged 24 and younger, the average debt is $12,593 each, totaling $170 million.
  • 5,100 federal borrowers aged 24 years and younger declined to report their location.
  • Among these borrowers aged 24 and younger, the average debt is $3,922 each, totaling $20 million.
  • 35,000 federal borrowers aged 25 to 34 years reported their location as “other.”
  • Among these borrowers between the ages of 25 and 34, the average debt is $38,000 each, totaling $1.33 billion.
  • 171,700 federal borrowers aged 25 to 34 years declined to report their location.
  • Among these borrowers aged 25 to 34 years, the average debt is $7,164 each, totaling $1.23 billion.
  • 29,800 federal borrowers aged 35 to 49 years reported their location as “other.”
  • Among these borrowers between the ages of 35 and 49, the average debt is $63,087 each, totaling $1.88 billion.
  • 2,186,800 federal borrowers aged 35 to 49 years declined to report their location.
  • Among these borrowers aged 35 to 49 years, the average debt is $24,067 each, totaling $52.63 billion.
  • 11,300 federal borrowers aged 50 to 61 years reported their location as “other.”
  • Among these borrowers between the ages of 50 and 61, the average debt is $58,407 each, totaling $660 million.
  • 875,300 federal borrowers aged 50 to 61 years declined to report their location.
  • Among these borrowers aged 50 to 61 years, the average debt is $31,898 each, totaling $27.92 billion.
  • 4,300 federal borrowers aged 62 years and older reported their location as “other.”
  • Among these borrowers aged 62 years and older, the average debt is $55,814 each, totaling $240 million.
  • 579,800 federal borrowers aged 62 years and older declined to report their location.
  • Among these borrowers aged 62 years and older, the average debt is $27,716 each, totaling $16.07 billion.

Student Loan Debt by Generation

The concept of dividing people into generations defined by cultural events began as a marketing tool. That is still its primary purpose. The significance of cultural generations, however, has crept into public consciousness. As such, many people now categorize age groups based on titled generations. In turn, researchers have begun applying generational parameters to data sets.

  • The youngest members of the Silent generation were the first to benefit from federal student loans.
  • Baby boomers had the highest student loan interest rates.
  • Since the eldest Millennials graduated, student loan debt has increased 362.4%.
  • Millennials currently have the greatest amount of outstanding debt.
  • The oldest members of Generation Z graduated from college last year.
  • So far, just 0.0007% of Generation Z members carry student loan debt.
  • Many of Generation Z’s student loans are not yet eligible for repayment.

For more details, see our report on Student Loan Debt by Generation.

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Average Tuition and Fees by Age Group

From 1963 to 1983, the cost of a college education remained stable when adjusting for inflation. The 1970s even saw a decrease in the cost of tuition. The 1983-84 academic year, however, the price of education began its excessive climb. The rise in sticker prices is a driving factor in the rise of student debt.

  • Assuming they began attending college at the traditional age of 18, 75-year-olds paid $1,280 for their first year of tuition, fees, and room & board.
  • 60-year-olds paid $2,587 for their first year of college.
  • 45-year-olds paid $7,931 for a year of college.
  • 30-year-olds paid $17,092 to attend college for a year.
  • From 1963 to 2018, the cost of a college education increased 1,873%.
  • That’s an annual growth of 34.2%, whereas the value of the U.S. dollar only increased by 13.3% each year.
  • The annual growth rate of college costs exceeds monetary inflation by more than two-and-a-half times.
  • Adjusting for inflation, the value of a college education rose by 140% over 55 years.
  • Between 1989 and 2019, the cost of a college education more than doubled when adjusting for inflation.
  • The cost of attending a public college is rising faster than the cost of attending a private school.

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Student Loan Interest Rates Among Age Groups

While the cost of college has increased, student loan interest rates have risen and fallen many times over the decades. Interest rates have a significant effect on student debt. Student loan interest hit its peak in the early-1980s and remained high until 2001, when it slowly began to ebb.

  • Assuming they started college at the traditional age of 18, 57- to 61-year-olds had the highest starting student loan interest rates.
  • From 1981 to 1982, student loan interest rates were as high as 14%.
  • 43- to 61-year-olds paid student loan interest rates in excess of 10%.
  • 6.8% is the highest interest rate on federal loans in recent years.
  • 30- to 34-year-olds paid higher starting interest rates on student loans than borrowers 29 and under.
  • Student loan interest rates are currently the lowest they’ve been in decades.
  • 2.75% is the current interest rate for a Federal Stafford loan.
  • 5.3% is currently the highest interest rate for a federal loan.

For more details, see our report on Student Loan Interest Rates.

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Sources

  1. National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Digest of Education Statistics
  2. U.S. News, Meet Generation Subprime
  3. Experian, Main Street Report: Q2 2019
  4. PEW Research Center, 5 Facts About Student Loans
  5. FinAid, Historical Rates
  6. PEW, Millennials Overtake Baby Boomers as America’s Largest Generation
  7. New America, Education Policy: Student Loan History
  8. U.S. Department of Education (ED) Office of Federal Student Aid (OFSA), Federal Student Loan Portfolio
  9. Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Center for Microeconomic Data