Poll: Student Loan Borrowers Pile on Credit Card Debt and Forgo Everyday Services

May 21, 2013
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette  
student loan news

A survey taken this spring by the nonprofit group Young Invincibles reveals that borrowers struggling under the weight of private student loans are leaning on credit cards and giving up everyday services like Internet access just to get by. The online poll of more than 9,500 borrowers aimed to identify the challenges faced by private student loan holders in meeting their payments each month. It discovered that these borrowers -- who, unlike borrowers of federal student loans, do not have options such as forbearance and deferment -- are forced to rack up credit card debt, turn to family and friends for financial help, and work multiple jobs. Besides forgoing services like cable television, they also go without big-ticket purchases, such as buying a home. About 15 percent of respondents to the survey said their debt prevented them getting a mortgage. Some 76 percent, meanwhile, said their student loan payments make it impossible for them to save. "Many people of this generation are being forced to push back their dreams because of student debt," according to Rory O'Sullivan, policy director for Young Invincibles, who said issues like the lack of jobs and health coverage "make it that much harder for our generation to afford their student debt."
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