How Maryland’s Student Debt Crisis Compares to Other States


The recent announcement by the Biden administration regarding student debt relief has thrust the topic into the forefront of the news. Under the program, students with Pell grants and loans from the Department of Education will have their debt forgiven by $20,000. Those without a Pell Grant will have $10,000 less on their outstanding balances.

According to the Department of Education, federal student loans currently total $1.6 trillion. In total, about 45 million borrowers hold federal student loan debt. The average student loan debt among borrowers is $36,200. (These are the most expensive states to get a college education.)

Burdened with so much debt, many college graduates aren’t always able to keep up with the monthly payments, but the numbers vary by state. In Maryland, an estimated 874,000 people have outstanding student loan debt, and of those, 6.8% are at least 90 days past due, compared to 7.5% of borrowers nationally.

Maryland’s average outstanding borrower balance of $43,200 is above the national average and the highest among the states.

All data in this story comes from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and is current to 2021.

Robert P. Matthews