Student Debt, By the Numbers: Part 1, The Scope of the Problem

Sources: National Center for Education Statistics, New Deal 2.0, Nation of Change

Total student loan debt in the U.S. in 2012: $1 trillion.

Total student loan debt in the U.S. in 2011: $830 billion.

Total credit-card debt in the U.S. in 2011: $826.5 billion.

Total value of the federal student loans taken in 2010:  $100 billion.

Tax deductions of interest on student loan debt taken on 2009 tax returns:  $1.4 billion.

Percentage of those enrolled in public four-year institutions who borrowed to cover college costs in 2009:  47%.

Percentage of those enrolled in private not-for-profit four-year institutions who borrowed to cover college costs in 2009:  61%.

Percentage of those enrolled in private for-profit four-year institutions who borrowed to cover college costs in 2009:  81%.

Percentage of those graduating in 2008 who had taken federal loans during the course of their studies:  66%.

Average amount of federal loans taken by those graduating in 2010:  $24,700.

Percentage of those graduating in 2008 who had taken state or private loans during the course of their studies:  36%.

Average amount of state and private loans taken by those graduating in 2008:  $13,900

Average total loan debt taken on by those graduating in 2010:  $25,250.

Average total loan debt taken on by those graduating in 1993:  $8,462.

Number of student loan accounts defaulted on in 2009:  300,000.

Largest holders of student-loan debt:

■ Sallie Mae                              $154.1 billion

■ Wells Fargo                           $10.68 billion–in just 2009

■ Discover                                $52.59 billion

■ NelNet                                   $24.60 billion

■ JP Morgan Chase                  $11.40 billion

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