These are the demographics of student loan debt in Pa. and beyond | The Numbers Racket

In Pa., 661K borrowers between the ages of 25 and 34 owe an average of more than $35K each, totaling more than $23B, data shows

By: - June 20, 2022 6:30 am

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In last week’s edition of the Numbers Racket, the Capital-Star looked at Americans’ student loan debt. 

This week we’re continuing our look at student loan debt, using demographic data from the Education Data Initiative, a research organization studying the American education system. 

Student Loan Debt by Age

  • A third of adults under 30 owe 34 percent of all student loan debt, according to EDI.
  • 34 percent of adults aged 18 to 29 years old 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 old owe 49 percent of the national student loan debt balance or $823 billion.

In Pennsylvania, 661,000 borrowers between the ages of 25 and 34 owe an average of more than $35,000 each, totaling more than $23 billion, according to EDI data. 

Pennsylvania borrowers between the ages of 50 and 61-year-olds owe the most of any age group, owing, on average, $46,926. 

The 447,200 35- to 49-year-olds in Pennsylvania owe an average of $46,377, totaling $20.74 billion, EDI reports. 

Similarly, EDI data shows that 75,100 federal borrowers in Pennsylvania aged 62 years and older owe an average $45,539, totaling $3.42 billion.

Student Loan Debt by Race & Ethnicity 

While white borrowers owe more than half – 54 percent – of the national student loan debt balance, Black college students are the most likely to use federal loans, with 49.4 percent borrowing, according to EDI data. Asian students are the least likely to receive federal loans at 62 percent.

Within the first 12 years of repayment, 30 percent of Black college graduates with student loans defaulted. 

Among students who take out private student loans, white students are the most likely to receive private loans, with 7.1 percent borrowing privately. EDI reports that American Indian and Alaska Native students are least likely to borrow privately at 2.6 percent.

Student Debt by Gender

More than half of all student loan debt – 58 percent – belongs to women, according to EDI. 

Despite having an income 26 percent lower than their male counterparts, Women are more likely than men to make high monthly student loan payments.

In fact, 54 percent of females have student loan payments in the 75th percentilemonthly payments are higher than 75 percent of all monthly payments – compared to 51 percent of males.

55.9 … the percentage of males students who obtained federal loans while 21.5 percent received non-federal loans.

67.2 … the percentage of female students who obtained federal loans, and 24.2 percent received non-federal loans.

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Cassie Miller
Cassie Miller

A native Pennsylvanian, Cassie Miller worked for various publications across the Midstate before joining the team at the Pennsylvania Capital-Star. In her previous roles, she has covered everything from local sports to the financial services industry.