Despite the recent announcement of a short-term extension suspending student loan payments and interest until January 31, 2021, student loan borrowers are worse off 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 during the first week of December by the group Student Debt Crisis and Savi, a social impact technology company, found that 77% of borrowers do not feel financially secure enough to resume payments on federal student loans until June 2021 or later.
The survey also found that 65% of borrowers are facing 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 wellness as poor or very poor since the pandemic began in March. Only 21% rated their financial wellness as poor or very poor prior to 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 borrowers of color are disproportionately likely to report missing a rent or mortgage payment, experience food insecurity and homelessness or be unable to afford healthcare and medicine during the pandemic due to their student loan payments.
The two groups conducted a similar survey in April.
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As our second lead editor, Cindy Hamilton covers health, fitness and other wellness topics. She is also instrumental in making sure the content on the site is clear and accurate for our readers. Cindy received a BA and an MA from NYU.