Student loan debt can be a significant cause of anxiety. Moreover, despite the temporary suspension of federal loan repayments, the COVID-19 pandemic has made this anxiety worse. In a recent survey of borrowers with $5,000 or more of debt1, 42% said their student loan debt triggers high levels of both mental and emotional stress – more so than other types of debt.
Individuals with student loan debt report suffering from a range of negative emotions, including frustration (cited by 56% of borrowers), being overwhelmed (48%), and shame (24%). Nearly half of respondents report that the COVID-19 pandemic has intensified their stress levels over debt. Many of those respondents with student loan debt have regrets: they wish they had made a different choice such as choosing a less expensive school, looked into other sources to fund college, chosen an alternative career path, or simply managed their debt better.