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RELEASE: SDCC Survey Report Shows Borrowers Continue to Face Unnecessary Obstacles Since the Return to Repayment


March 5, 2024

Natalia Abrams, Student Debt Crisis Center

(310) 365-1069

Student Debt Crisis Center releases: Six Months Into Repayment, SDCC Reveals Realities of Return to Repayment Survey Report. The new survey collected almost 17,000 borrower responses over the course of 30 days, where they overwhelmingly shared their experiences on repayment, new programs, and more.

The Student Debt Crisis Center (SDCC) has conducted a survey shedding light on the realities of student loan repayment after the end of the COVID-19 payment pause that halted federal loan repayments for student loan borrowers for more than three years. The survey, which garnered responses from almost 17,000 borrowers, offers a comprehensive understanding of borrowers' experiences, attitudes, and perceptions toward federal loan repayment, new programs, and government initiatives aimed at alleviating student debt.

With significant policy changes, reforms, and announcements having reshaped the landscape of student debt for millions of borrowers, the survey found that there is a divide between borrowers who feel the Biden Administration is working to help cancel borrowers’ debts and lower payments and those who feel it is not doing enough. This split is found among older borrowers who mainly fall into the former group while a significant portion of younger borrowers feel the administration's actions fall short. This discrepancy underscores that actions taken are not being championed enough by President Biden, potentially resulting in a missed opportunity for relief for some borrowers. Specific information from the survey includes;

  • Less than half of borrowers (48%) believe (correctly) the Biden administration is pursuing other legal pathways to achieve student debt cancellation.

  • Only 1 in 4 borrowers is confident the information their student loan servicer provides is complete and accurate.

  • About 3 in 4 borrowers who make $75,000 or less annually and would benefit from the SAVE plan are not currently enrolled in the plan. 

  • More than 1 in 3 borrowers (38%) will be unable to make their monthly student loan payment six months from now.

As millions of Americans still grapple with the weight of student loans, these survey results show an urgent need for clear and comprehensive communication from the Biden Administration regarding their current and future plans for alleviating this financial strain. During the upcoming State of the Union Address on March 7th, the Biden Administration plans to provide further insight into the Administration's strategies and timelines for implementing effective relief measures allowing easier access to these resources for borrowers and their families.

“These survey results are a reflection of what borrowers have experienced these past 6 months since repayment restarted. We have come so far in advocating for necessary relief to millions of borrowers, and seeing the Biden Administration act is great,” said SDCC President and Founder Natalia Abrams. “However, communication of these vital resources is crucial so borrowers know help is available for them right now. If borrowers do not know the available resources, they will miss relief that can lower their monthly payments, cancel their debt entirely, and so much more.”

“I regularly hear from borrowers that they are experiencing inaccurate information or none at all from their loan servicers. As a student loan borrower myself, I know firsthand how frustrating and harmful these communication errors can be. Borrowers need more communications coming directly from the Department of Education, given their lack of trust in their respective service providers,” said Sabrina Calazans, Managing Director of SDCC. “The Department of Education and student loan servicers must prioritize borrowers’ needs and ensure that they have accurate, timely, and consistent communications. Information on new programs, benefits, and cancellation updates must reach as many individuals as possible.”

With lingering concerns regarding miscommunication, mismanagement, and lack of transparency, survey results show a level of skepticism between borrowers and loan servicers is still present. Only a quarter of surveyed borrowers believe the information from loan servicers is trustworthy, expressing skepticism towards the information provided by these entities. We must prioritize increasing the accountability of loan servicers to regain borrower trust in their respective loan servicer. For too long, student loan servicers have been able to get away with billing errors, wrong information, and overall negligent behavior. SDCC urges both the Biden Administration and Congress to take decisive action in this regard.

At SDCC, we will continue to fight on behalf of borrowers to ensure that they receive the relief that they need and that loan servicers are held accountable for their negligence and errors. As an organization, we are dedicated to ending the student debt crisis and will always do our best to make sure borrowers’ voices are heard loud and clear.

You can find the survey report linked here. If you would like to speak with someone from our team or with a borrower, please reach out to us via email at


Student Debt Crisis Center is a nationwide advocacy group with over 2,000,000 supporters calling for fundamental reforms to student loan policies.


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