TND: Is student loan debt a national crisis? Nearly half of borrowers think so
This article originally appeared on TND.
(TND) — Nearly half of current borrowers call student loan debt a national crisis, a new Bankrate survey found.
An equal share, 48%, of current borrowers also say the government hasn’t done enough to help people with college debt.
The Biden administration is pursuing other student loan cancellation plans after the president’s $400 billion plan to cancel or reduce federal student loan debts for millions of Americans was struck down by the Supreme Court.
Student loans total over $1.7 trillion in the United States, with previous Bankrate polling finding that folks with student debt have put off important financial decisions, such as saving for retirement or buying a home.
But personal situations influence opinions on the topic greatly.
Only about a third of Americans overall, those who have paid off their debt, and those who never had college debt view student loan debt as a national crisis.
Likewise, while 48% of current borrowers want the government to help more, only 31% of Americans overall feel that way. And less than a third of Americans who have paid off their college debt or never had any feel the government should do more.
And Americans who've already paid off their loans or never had student debt are more than two times more likely than current borrowers to say Americans should be fully responsible for their student loan debt, according to Bankrate.
The veterans’ advocacy group Mission Roll Call also found that about three-quarters of veterans have a problem with widespread federal student loan forgiveness, considering the service they put in to earn the GI Bill that paid their way through college.
But most Americans agree that a college education has gotten too costly, according to the Bankrate survey.
That view is shared by 56% of Americans overall, including over half of both current borrowers and those who never borrowed to go to college.
The College Board found tuition and fees increased about 125% over the last 30 years at public four-year schools, after adjusting for inflation.
“I don’t think forgiveness or cancellation is a magic wand,” Tristan Stein, associate director of higher education at the Bipartisan Policy Center, told Bankrate. “You need comprehensive solutions, and you need to address these various elements together in order to really change the trajectory and put the system of higher education on a path that promotes more affordability, more accountability and better outcomes for students.”
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says about one-in-five student loan borrowers could struggle when scheduled payments resume in the fall.
Bankrate offered some advice for borrowers to manage their repayments. See it here.