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More Than Half of Us Student Loan Borrowers Say They Can’t Afford Single Payment

A survey out Thursday shows that more than half of student loan borrowers in the United States say they would not currently be able to make a single monthly debt payment if they were required to, a finding that comes amid mounting calls for universal student debt cancellation.

The new poll, conducted this month by the firm Payitoff, also finds that 64% of U.S. student loan borrowers say they "would not make a payment until they are legally required to do so." The average monthly student loan payment in the U.S. is $460, according to the Education Data Initiative.

The survey results were released weeks after the Biden administration announced its fourth extension of the federal student loan repayment moratorium, a freeze that has been in place since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.

While advocates and progressive lawmakers welcomed the extension—which will remain in effect through August 31—they argued that continuing to push the end of the moratorium back several months at a time leaves tens of millions of borrowers in limbo and does nothing to ensure lasting relief.