In honor of this summer’s big announcement that Central Scholarship will be paying off student loan debt, we want to illustrate the student loan debt situation in the United States. In order to understand the scale of the student loan debt problem in the US, let’s look at numbers. Nationwide, student loan debt is nearly $1.3 trillion dollars. It exceeds credit card debt. A growing number of students – 40 million Americans – have student loan debt. Out of the types of loans that students take out, 80% are Federal loans and 20% are private loans. Students who take Federal loans often have lower interest and more options to repay and enter into forgiveness programs than students who take out private loans.
Nationwide, 69% of new graduates have student loan debt averaging $28,400. In Maryland, our numbers are lower than the national average, but not by much. In our state, 59% of new graduates have student loan debt averaging $26,300. Young students face a lifetime of loan repayments if they are not savvy. One third of those in loan repayment are in their twenties, another third are in their thirties, and 29% are in their forties and fifties. Only 5% are older than sixty. For more information, visit The Institute for College Access & Success and their Project on Student Debt.