Will Student Loan Borrowers Be Able to Resume Payments?

By Anna Helhoski When the deadly Covid-19 pandemic began taking a toll on the economy and Americans’ finances earlier this year, monthly payments were suspended automatically for more than 42 million federal student loan borrowers. Now, with payments scheduled to resume in January, nearly half of those with federal debt […]

By Anna Helhoski

When the deadly Covid-19 pandemic began taking a toll on the economy and Americans’ finances earlier this year, monthly payments were suspended automatically for more than 42 million federal student loan borrowers. Now, with payments scheduled to resume in January, nearly half of those with federal debt say they aren’t confident they’ll be able to pay, according to a new NerdWallet survey.

Among Americans with federal student loan debt of their own, 45% say they are “not at all confident” or “not very confident” they will be able to make their payments when automatic forbearance ends, according to an October survey of 2,045 U.S. adults, including over 200 with federal student loan debt of their own and more than 200 current college students (undergrad and grad), commissioned by NerdWallet and conducted online by The Harris Poll. This doesn’t account for parent loans borrowed on the student’s behalf, although students often are expected to share that repayment responsibility.

The survey found 22% of those with federal student loan debt of their own are “very confident” and 32% are “somewhat confident” they will be able to make their student loan payments after automatic forbearance ends.

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