Speed Reads

Student debt relief

Student loan borrowers are pinning their financial futures on debt forgiveness

With the return of student loan payments looming, federal loan borrowers are stuck in limbo as President Biden's debt forgiveness plan remains stalled in court. A recent survey has revealed that a majority of people with student loans feel like "their debt is standing between them and financial wellbeing," CNBC reports.  

Fifty-three percent of the 1,009 federal student loan borrowers surveyed by Credit Karma said that their financial stability depends on their loans being forgiven. Pending a decision from the Supreme Court, the student loan repayment pause is expected to end sometime this summer, over three years after it was first implemented in response to the pandemic and following multiple extensions. "But for struggling borrowers," CNBC writes, "adding those payments back into their budget won't be easy." 

Most borrowers say the pause has helped them feel financially secure, but that security may dissipate once payments resume. According to the survey, 56 percent of the respondents said their "financial stability relies on not being required to make payments." Despite having more financial wiggle room, 1 in 4 people surveyed said they could not save during the forbearance because that money had to go to other necessities. 

The Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments at the end of the month before sharing its final decision on the administration's plan to forgive up to $20,000 in student debt. The justices put the plan on an indefinite pause until they resolve the two lawsuits seeking to reverse the president's decision. Courtney Alev, a consumer financial advocate at Credit Karma, says "borrowers should start budgeting now" since the outcome of the trials remains uncertain. "Once payments resume, you'll have less disposable income, so you'll need to revisit your spending habits to ensure you have sufficient funds to put toward bills, necessities, and your student loans."