Student loan repayments on pause, who’s likely to owe the most?


BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – JULY 14: Students throw their mortarboards in the air during their graduation photograph at the University of Birmingham degree congregations on July 14, 2009 in Birmingham, England. Over 5000 graduates will be donning their robes this week to collect their degrees from The University of Birmingham. A recent survey suggested that there are 48 graduates competing for every job. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The U.S. Department of Education estimated a total of $1.37 trillion in federal student loan debt. Those repayments are now on hold as President Joe Biden has paused repayment through January.

Those repayments will be a heavy burden when they return. The Census reported people in their late 20s and early 30s will likely be hit the hardest.

They found debt was disproportional when broken down by race. Debt was highest for:

  • Non-Hispanic Black adults (21 percent had debt)
  • Never-married adults (23 percent had debt)
  • Adults ages 25 to 34 (29 percent had debt)

Overall, the Census found women were 28 percent more likely than men to have some debt. More specifically, non-Hispanic Black women were the most likely to have student loan debt. They are estimated to owe an average of $20,000.

In older age groups, Black adults were found to own more likely to still have debt than their white counterparts.

Does location matter?

The Institute for College Access and Success has ranked states by average student loan debt.

They put North Carolina in 36th place for student debt.

Their last report estimated there was an average of $26,583 in debt accumulated by the class of 2019 with 55 percent of them graduating with debt.

TICAS ranked Utah the state with the lowest amount of student debt.

The average there was $17,935. That was followed by New Mexico with an average of $20,991.

Most low-debt states were out west.

The highest debt state was listed as New Hampshire. Students there graduated with an average of $39,410 in debt. Pennsylvania came in with the second-highest at $39,027. Most high debt states were in the northeast.

Click here to view an interactive map.

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