Student borrowers worse off than spring, survey finds

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Despite the recent announcement of a short-term extension suspending payments and interest on student loans until Jan.31, 2021, the situation for student loan borrowers is worse now than in the spring, and most are facing long-term challenges, a survey by a student-debt advocacy group has found.

A survey of 58,733 student loan borrowers in the first week of December by the group Student debt crisis and Savi, a social impact technology company, found that 77% of borrowers don’t feel financially secure enough to resume federal student loan payments until June 2021 or later.

The survey also found that 65% of borrowers face increased anxiety, depression or stress due to the burden of student loan debt during the Covid-19 pandemic, and that 52% of borrowers rate their current financial well-being as poor or very bad since the start of the pandemic in March. Only 21% rated their financial well-being as poor or very bad before the pandemic.

In addition, 35% of healthcare workers with student loan debt have experienced reduced work hours caused by the pandemic. Finally, the survey found that borrowers of color are more likely to report missing a rent or mortgage payment, experiencing food insecurity and homelessness, or being unable to afford health care and drugs during the pandemic. because of their student loan payments.

The two groups conducted a similar investigation in April.

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