Up-to-date insights on student debt in the US, based on loans reported by more than 18941 Bold.org members.
Student loan debt in the United States has reached a staggering $1.6 trillion, leading to a drop in everything from marriage rates, to small business formation, to career ambitions, to savings rates across the country.
To help understand the problem in more detail, we’re sharing the results of our proprietary research with Bold.org members, based on over 18941 loans reported.
Do women or men have more student debt? Which states have the highest debt per student? Which private lenders offer the lowest interest rates? Read on to find insights on this and more!
Across our entire dataset, women carry 9% more debt than men on average. It's clear that this gap starts to develop while women are still in school, and research shows that it gets more pronounced after graduation, with women holding two thirds of outstanding student loan debt overall.
While women tend to have more student debt than men, women and men carry almost identical interest rates on their student loans (5.3% vs. 5.3%).
Based on data from Bold.org members, Black/African and Caucasian students carry the highest student debt, at $23,514 and $22,521 respectively.
While interest rate patterns are similar across most ethnicities, Asian students stand out as an outlier, paying 5.5% interest on their student loans on average.
That's a 3.2% higher rate than the next highest group!
This rapid rise in student debt has led to a drop in everything from marriage rates, to small business formation, to career ambitions, to savings rates across the country.
Most colleges have eye-popping sticker prices, which means that paying tuition becomes a team effort. The largest way tuition gets paid is through aid, followed closely by loans and payments made by students themselves.
Most borrowers take out multiple loans as they need to borrow more, rather than borrow all at once. This can help keep debt to a minimum, but it also means that many students end up with multiple loans, all from different lenders with different interest rates.
Unfortunately, debt tends to grow for students on average, not shrink. The average student owes 23% more on their loan than they did when they initially took the loan out!
Unlike subsidized federal loans which don’t start accruing interest until 6 months after students graduate, private student loans and unsubsidized federal student loans start accruing interest immediately. These account for a substantial proportion of student loans, and when combined with low earnings from students while in school, result in ballooning student loan principals.
Our research team began by interviewing undergraduate and graduate students with loans. We asked a series of questions to understand their decision-making processes for borrowing, their plans for repayment, and their top questions about their loans.
We then reviewed survey data collected from 18941 Bold.org members to surface patterns in student loans. Our survey data included:
Before using survey data, we manually reviewed responses to identify and remove any responses that were strong outliers indicative of unreliable reporting from respondents.
Finally, we used the resulting 18941-person data set to generate the analysis seen in this report.
To inquire further about our methodology, please email email@example.com.