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In the final days before student loan repayment resumes this October, borrowers are likely preparing to sort out how the revived expense could impact their monthly budget. CivicScience has already explored spending categories where borrowers intend to cut back once student loan payments resume. But how many student loan debtors actually plan to make their payments come October?

According to the latest CivicScience data, one-quarter of student loan borrowers do not plan to pay back their student loans when payments resume, and nearly as many borrowers intend to delay or postpone their payments. But among borrowers earning under $50,000 annually, those numbers balloon to 36% who don’t plan to pay back their loans and 27% who plan to delay or postpone payments – amounting to nearly two-thirds of this income bracket who don’t plan to pay back their loans normally.

For borrowers who intend to resume payments in October, there are a variety of options to stagger or delay their payments, including President Biden’s recently announced SAVE Plan. While a plurality of borrowers polled who will make payments intend to opt for standard repayment (equal monthly payments for 10 years), 30% of borrowers will pursue an income-driven repayment plan (like PAYE, REPAYE, or SAVE). Younger borrowers (Gen Z and young Millennial adults) are the most likely to opt for standard repayment or income-driven repayment, and they’re the least likely to opt for extended repayment or say they won’t pay back their student loans. Borrowers 55 and older are the most likely to pursue an extended repayment plan.

Three more insights to know about student loan repayment this week:

  • Borrowers who go to the movies once a month or more are more likely than the Gen Pop to say they are planning to pay back their student loans when payments resume, while one-quarter of infrequent and non-moviegoers do not plan to pay them back.
  • Those planning to delay/postpone their student loan payments are 11 percentage points more likely than borrowers who intend to pay back on the standard schedule to have experience with buy now, pay later services (50% compared to 39%).
  • Borrowers using an extended repayment plan are the most likely to say they’ve been more price-sensitive in the last year, and those on a graduated repayment plan are by far the least price-sensitive.

CivicScience will continue to monitor changes in borrower sentiment as payments resume and publish a preview of our most compelling insights. Book a meeting today to find out how your company can stay ahead of the coming market shifts caused by loan payments resuming.