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Compare Your Student Loan Debt to National Studies [Using 2015 Federal Reserve Data]

Note: This post updates an article that was published on November 30, 2015 and based upon Federal Reserve data from 2014. Since then, the Federal Reserve has released its figures for 2015, so it’s time to deliver a new report on debt percentiles.

If student debt is or will be part of your life, you should consider how you stack up or will stack up against other borrowers. It’s one thing to know that you’ll owe $68,000 once you finish your veterinary degree. It’s quite another thing to realize that such debt will place you in the 90th percentile of all student loan debtors nationwide.

The statistics in this post are based on studies by staff members at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (FRBNY). These studies publish percentile figures for student loan indebtedness as derived from the FRBNY’s Consumer Credit Panel for the fourth quarter of 2015 (the 2015 CCP).

The 2015 CCP comprises a large random sample of US residents who have credit files with Equifax, a credit reporting company. The initial sample involves approximately 40 million people which represents 5 percent of all US-based credit files. To save on data processing costs, the study of student indebtedness is based upon a statistically significant subset of the 40 million individuals. All within this subset have some level of student loan debt.

Student Loan Balances By Percentile Rank

To see where you rank in percentile student debt figures for the 2015 CCP (as expanded by a process of linear interpolation), simply scroll down the left hand column until you reach the dollar figure that’s nearest to but not over the amount of your total student loan debt. The corresponding number in the right hand column reports your percentile ranking.

If you owe at least x dollars in student loans, you owe more than y percent of all borrowers:

Debt Percentile
$5,000 20.28%
$6,000 23.79%
$7,000 27.29%
$8,000 30.79%
$9,000 34.30%
$10,000 37.80%
$11,000 39.68%
$12,000 41.56%
$13,000 43.43%
$14,000 45.31%
$15,000 47.18%
$16,000 49.06%
$17,000 50.94%
$18,000 52.81%
$19,000 54.69%
$20,000 56.57%
$21,000 58.44%
$22,000 60.32%
$23,000 62.20%
$24,000 64.07%
$25,000 65.95%
$26,000 66.70%
$27,000 67.45%
$28,000 68.21%
$29,000 68.96%
$30,000 69.71%
$31,000 70.47%
$32,000 71.22%
$33,000 71.97%
$34,000 72.73%
$35,000 73.48%
$36,000 74.23%
$37,000 74.99%
$38,000 75.74%
$39,000 76.49%
$40,000 77.25%
$41,000 78.00%
$42,000 78.75%
$43,000 79.51%
$44,000 80.26%
$45,000 81.01%
$46,000 81.77%
$47,000 82.52%
$48,000 83.27%
$49,000 84.03%
$50,000 84.78%
$51,000 85.08%
$52,000 85.38%
$53,000 85.69%
$54,000 85.99%
$55,000 86.29%
$56,000 86.59%
$57,000 86.90%
$58,000 87.20%
$59,000 87.50%
$60,000 87.80%
$61,000 88.11%
$62,000 88.41%
$63,000 88.71%
$64,000 89.01%
$65,000 89.32%
$66,000 89.62%
$67,000 89.92%
$68,000 90.22%
$69,000 90.53%
$70,000 90.83%
$71,000 91.13%
$72,000 91.43%
$73,000 91.74%
$74,000 92.04%
$75,000 92.34%
$76,000 92.46%
$77,000 92.59%
$78,000 92.71%
$79,000 92.83%
$80,000 92.95%
$81,000 93.08%
$82,000 93.20%
$83,000 93.32%
$84,000 93.44%
$85,000 93.57%
$86,000 93.69%
$87,000 93.81%
$88,000 93.93%
$89,000 94.05%
$90,000 94.18%
$91,000 94.30%
$92,000 94.42%
$93,000 94.54%
$94,000 94.67%
$95,000 94.79%
$96,000 94.91%
$97,000 95.03%
$98,000 95.16%
$99,000 95.28%
$100,000 95.40%
$101,000 95.45%
$102,000 95.50%
$103,000 95.55%
$104,000 95.60%
$105,000 95.65%
$106,000 95.70%
$107,000 95.75%
$108,000 95.80%
$109,000 95.85%
$110,000 95.91%
$111,000 95.96%
$112,000 96.01%
$113,000 96.06%
$114,000 96.11%
$115,000 96.16%
$116,000 96.21%
$117,000 96.26%
$118,000 96.31%
$119,000 96.36%
$120,000 96.41%
$121,000 96.46%
$122,000 96.51%
$123,000 96.56%
$124,000 96.61%
$125,000 96.66%
$126,000 96.71%
$127,000 96.76%
$128,000 96.82%
$129,000 96.87%
$130,000 96.92%
$131,000 96.97%
$132,000 97.02%
$133,000 97.07%
$134,000 97.12%
$135,000 97.17%
$136,000 97.22%
$137,000 97.27%
$138,000 97.32%
$139,000 97.37%
$140,000 97.42%
$141,000 97.47%
$142,000 97.52%
$143,000 97.57%
$144,000 97.62%
$145,000 97.67%
$146,000 97.72%
$147,000 97.78%
$148,000 97.83%
$149,000 97.88%
$150,000 97.93%
$151,000 97.95%
$152,000 97.97%
$153,000 98.00%
$154,000 98.02%
$155,000 98.04%
$156,000 98.06%
$157,000 98.09%
$158,000 98.11%
$159,000 98.13%
$160,000 98.15%
$161,000 98.18%
$162,000 98.20%
$163,000 98.22%
$164,000 98.24%
$165,000 98.27%
$166,000 98.29%
$167,000 98.31%
$168,000 98.33%
$169,000 98.36%
$170,000 98.38%
$171,000 98.40%
$172,000 98.43%
$173,000 98.45%
$174,000 98.47%
$175,000 98.49%
$176,000 98.52%
$177,000 98.54%
$178,000 98.56%
$179,000 98.58%
$180,000 98.61%
$181,000 98.63%
$182,000 98.65%
$183,000 98.67%
$184,000 98.70%
$185,000 98.72%
$186,000 98.74%
$187,000 98.77%
$188,000 98.79%
$189,000 98.81%
$190,000 98.83%
$191,000 98.86%
$192,000 98.88%
$193,000 98.90%
$194,000 98.92%
$195,000 98.95%
$196,000 98.97%
$197,000 98.99%
$198,000 99.01%
$199,000 99.04%
$200,000 99.06%

Source: https://www.newyorkfed.org/microeconomics/data.html, 2016Q2 Data Student Loan Data Update 2016

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