Recent surveys conducted by Student Loan Hero and Gradafi show how the $1.4 trillion in outstanding student loan debt is affecting the health of borrowers. Gradafi is a start-up that helps companies create student loan payment benefits. Student Loan Hero is a well-known website that analyzes and covers topics related to higher education debt.
According to surveys conducted by both groups, borrowers are reporting multiple mental health problems. Respondents to Student Loan Hero’s survey reported experiencing depression, social isolation, sleepless nights, restlessness, irritability and apprehension or dread.
More than 3,000 respondents to Gradafi’s survey reported similar problems. Eighty percent of respondents claimed that student loans were a significant or very significant source of stress. Borrowers also reported that student loan payments made it more difficult to buy a car, clothing or homes.
The results of these surveys will not be surprising to many people with excessive student loan debt. For many borrowers, there may be ways to reduce the stress caused by their student loans.
Can I Reduce the Stress Caused by Monthly Student Loan Payments?
Borrowers with federal loans may not realize they are eligible income-driven repayment plans that will lower their monthly payments. Such plans are immensely helpful for people without high-paying jobs who have high student loan balances. Income-driven plans may also lead to loan forgiveness after making consecutive payments for 20 to 25 years, depending on the type of plan and when the loans were received. Although there is an income tax hit when loans are forgiven under these plans, future legislation might reduce or remove this problem.
Picking the right employer to work for could also reduce the stress caused by monthly payments. More employers are beginning to offer student loan repayment assistance plans. Companies like PricewaterhouseCoopers, Fidelity, Aetna, Nvidia and First Republic have started helped certain employees pay back their student loans.
Other possible solutions, such as picking the right diet or exercise routine to fight stress, could be discussed with a professional.
If you are having difficulty repaying either private or federal student loans, then we encourage you to contact our office. The Kansas City student loan attorneys at The Sader Law Firm could help you discover possible options for managing payments.