May 25, 2016

About 2/3 of Student Loan Debt Is Owed By People Over 30 Years Old

I saw an internet meme recently depicting a 20 something woman with a caption basically whining about student loan debt.    I'd expect that the common picture of a student loan debtor is someone who's in their 20's.   But in reality MOST student loan debt is held by people over 30 years old.

Sources are the Federal Reserve Bank of New York page Student loan debt by age group and report Household Debt and Credit: Student Debt.

As of 2012 the share of debt held by age group is as follows:

age group % of debt
60+ 5%
50-59 12%
40-49 17%
30-39 33%
under 30 33%

and graphically :

Of course that data is a few years old now but the trend is for the % of debt held by people under 30 to be dropping.   In 2005 the under 30 group held about 40% of the debt.

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