More than 44% of individuals with student loan debt have not made any payments since last March, according to the results of a poll released on Friday.
About 22% of the individuals who participated in the poll said they had some form of student loan debt, with most of the respondents having between $20,000 and $40,000. But despite the opportunity to make payments on their unpaid loans, nearly half have not done so since the government enacted a moratorium on collecting federal student loans last March when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States. The remaining 56% of respondents have made “some or all” of their payments during the past year, according to the survey.
The poll was released as the federal government and the Biden administration wrestle with whether to cancel some amount of individuals’ student loan debt. Advocates of the idea say that it will boost the economy and provide a much-needed stimulus to those in need, while critics counter that the idea does nothing to help current or future students while also using reports that indicate that student loan debt cancellation is not the best tool for the federal government to help consumers.
Student loan debt is causing individuals to put some of their life plans on hold, according to the survey. About 40% of respondents have opted against replacing their vehicles with newer cars or saving for retirement, while 27% have said their student loans have forced them to delay going to the doctor or filling prescriptions.
About $1.56 trillion of student loan debt remains outstanding.