After three and a half years of the federal student loan payment pause, an estimated 44 million federal student loan borrowers are facing payments again this month. But a sliver of those borrowers are in for an October surprise: Their debt is being canceled.
The Biden administration pledged that another 125,000 student loan borrowers will have $9 billion in student loan debt erased. The announcement comes after Biden’s now defunct $400 billion loan forgiveness plan was shot down by the Supreme Court earlier this summer.
Under the Biden administration’s policy changes, nearly 3.6 million borrowers have been approved for a total of $127 billion in debt cancellation, according to the Education Department.
Which states owe the most student debt?
Borrowers living in Washington, D.C. rank at the top in the nation for highest average student loan debt at $54,856. Maryland’s 808,600 borrowers face an average debt of $42,666, coming in at second state or region in the nation with the highest average debt.
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Borrowers in Georgia, Virginia and Florida complete the top five, with an average debt of $40,438, $38,679 and $37,848, according to the Chamber of Commerce.
Since student loan payments first went on pause in March 2020, federal student loan debt has increased by $102 billion, according to the Department of Education.
The pause is over:As student loan payments resume, how to make sure you’re prepared
Debt cancellation:See is eligible for the latest round of debt relief
Student debt owed by age
Student loan debt differs by many demographics including age groups, gender, race, ethnicity, type of university/college, parent’s level of education and more.
For borrowers 24 or younger, the average student loan debt is $14,296. That amount more than doubles to $32,223 for borrowers ages 25 to 34. It peaks for people ages 35 to 39 at an average of $45,703.
But even seniors face financial constraints from student loans: More than 112 million seniors ages 62 and older owe an average of $45,636.
Student debt ‘binds my life:’Why more older Americans are drowning in loans than ever
See the average student debt owed by age in your state:
How much student debt does the average American owe?
The student loan debt balance in the U.S. has increased by 66% over the past decade, totaling more than $1.77 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve. The most recent data available from the 2020-2021 school year shows that more than half of bachelor’s degree students who attended public and private four-year schools graduated with student loans. These students left school with an average balance of $29,100 in education debt, according to the College Board.