Welcome to DoSomething.org, a global movement of 6 million young people making positive change, online and off! The 11 facts you want are below, and the sources for the facts are at the very bottom of the page. After you learn something, Do Something! Find out how to take action here.

  1. As of Oct. 2012, the average student loan debt for the class of 2011 was $26,600.
  2. Americans owe more in student loan debt than credit card debt.
  3. In 2012, the percentage of students who graduated with student loan debt from four-year colleges reached 71%.
  4. Private lenders control approximately 15% of the over $1 trillion in outstanding student loan debt held nationwide.
  5. Of the 37 million borrowers who have outstanding student loan balances, 14% or 5.4 million borrowers, have at least one student loan account that isn’t paid on time.

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  1. The majority of borrowers who are still paying back their loans are in their 30s or older.
  2. 2 in 5 student loan borrowers are delinquent (when you don’t make loan payments when they’re due) at some point in the first five years of entering repayment.
  3. About 65% of high-debt student loan borrowers were surprised or misunderstood aspects of their loans or the borrowing process.
  4. There is now over $8 billion in defaulted private loans (when you haven’t made a payment on your loan in 9 months and have not made arrangements with your lender to defer payments) as of 2012.
  5. There is approximately $864 billion in outstanding federal student loan debt, while the remaining $150 billion is in private loans.
  6. Student loans are the most common form of increasing debt among 18- to 24-year-olds.


  • 1

    Project on Student Debt. "Student Debt and the Class of 2011." Insitutie for College Access and Success. Accessed April 28, 2014.

  • 2

    Federal Reserve Bank of New York. "Student Loan Debt by Age Group." Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Accessed February 11, 2015.

  • 3

    The Institute for College Access & Success. "Quick Facts about Student Debt."The Institute for College Access & Success. Accessed February 17, 2015. .

  • 4

    Consumer Financial Protection Bureau . "Private Student Loans." USA.gov. http://www.consumerfinance.gov/askcfpb/567/should-i-choose-federal-student-loans-or-private-student-loans.html (Accessed February 10, 2014).

  • 5

    Lorin, Janet. "Student Loan Delinquency Reached $85 Billion in Third Quarter." Bloomberg Business. Accessed February 17, 2015. .

  • 6

    Nelson, Libby A. "Aging Student Debtors." Inside HigherEd. Accessed February 17, 2015. .

  • 7

    Institute for Higher Education Policy. "Just How many Student Loan Borrowers are Delinquent?." Institute for Higher Education Policy. Accessed February 17, 2015. .

  • 8

    NASFAA. "Report Suggests More Counseling Needed for High-Debt Borrowers." National Association of Student Financial Associations. Accessed February 17, 2015. .

  • 9

    Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. "Annual Report of the CFPB Student Loan." Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Accessed February 17, 2015. .

  • 10

    Day, Richard. "Student Loan Debt." Kentucky School News and Commentary. Accessed February 17, 2015. .

  • 11

    Smith, Vanessa. "Costs of College Exist Long after Graduation." The Marlin Chronicle. Accessed February 17, 2015. http://marlinchronicle.vwc.edu/?p=2640

Tackle a campaign to make the world suck less.