At the time of writing the end of the forbearance period for federal student loan borrowers draws near, how, if at all, are borrowers preparing to resume payments? With inflation concern still high (89%), will borrowers be equipped to begin repayment plans starting in September? CivicScience surveyed Americans to find out. 

This past week, concern over inflation remained relatively high with over half (54%) of the Gen Pop feeling ‘very concerned.’ Despite inflation concerns, Americans are feeling more optimistic about the future prices of consumer goods. Thirty-four percent of respondents think that prices will get better six months from now, the highest level we’ve seen since March of this year. 

On a similar note, U.S. adults have begun to pull back on reducing spending in most categories, in particular, spending on groceries and gas.

But when it comes to student loan borrowers, how are they responding to rising costs? Data show that of student loan borrowers, those who are ‘very concerned’ about payments returning are the most likely to reduce spending in all measured categories, especially in non-essential categories.  

A third of borrowers who haven’t been paying their student loans during the forbearance period expect to cut spending on non-essentials if payments resume after August, while a quarter anticipate switching to store brand products. Additionally, over a quarter of respondents plan to apply for a loan deferral.

And a quarter of the Gen Pop is concerned about the return of student loan payments this year.

CivicScience will continue to keep a finger on the pulse of student loan payments returning over the coming weeks as Americans wait to hear how the Biden administration plans to proceed.