The pause on student loans was a great idea - until it wasn’t. Ready or not, it’s time to pay.

For more than three years, 45 million Americans got a break from paying their student loans. That break ended yesterday – and most are worried about how they’ll pay.

New research by MassMutual reveals a whopping 8 in 10 borrowers are “very concerned” about payment resumptions. For many, they’ve been using the relief to buy household items and make ends meet.

“Over a third with student loan debt used funds earmarked to pay down their debt to purchase consumer goods during the pause in federal student loan payments,” the study says.

There’s a fear that this additional bill will damage personal finances across the board.

It’s easy to see how we got here:

  • Government aid has dried up.
  • Everything is more expensive.
  • Americans want their lives back.

A nation drifting towards debt

Americans aren’t just sweating student loans.

The first half of this year, we hit record-high credit card debt. Since 2020, we’ve faced one financial disaster after another: A global pandemic, record-high inflation, and supply chain issues drove up prices for Americans.

There was aid at first. More than half of the funds from stimulus checks were used to pay off debt or saved, the National Bureau of Economic Research reports.

A year later, that government aid ran out and BLS saw consumer spending increase by 9%.

The Biden Administration drafted legislation to forgive up to $20,000 in student loans. But the Supreme Court struck down the bill and now borrowers are back on the hook.

With rising prices and increased spending, it’s no wonder most are scared about tackling an expense they haven’t had to think about in years.

Finding a way to repay

Most don’t feel ready for repayment, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s time to repay. MassMutual reports 1 in 4 will cut down on luxury purchases and almost half will cut back on essentials to help cover the expense.

Now is the time for borrowers to take back financial control. has advice for those who need help fitting another bill into their lives:

  1. Stick to a budget that’s realistic. Budgeting can help manage your payments and give you a detailed look at your finances.
  2. Attack high-interest debt, which may involve cutting extras or figuring out alternative forms of income.
  3. Review important dates and tips for different types of student loans and upcoming deadlines.

Paying off student loans is a big deal. And with record high credit card balances, Americans should be mindful of creating more debt while paying down what’s already owed.

If you’re dreading the return of student loans, call us for free at (844) 650-1904. can help you find solutions today.

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About the Author

Roxanne Grant

Roxanne Grant

Roxanne Lamendola Grant is a personal finance reporter for Grant is an award-winning writer and producer from Miami, Florida who attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and City University of New York. Grant earned an Emmy nomination and Telly Award for her work as a television host. She's also been internationally recognized for songwriting as a two-time Stiles + Drewe Best New Song Prize finalist in London, England. Her original music has been featured on National Geographic, Discovery Channel, and the acclaimed TV series Smallville. As a playwright, her work has been performed in Miami, New York City, and London's West End. Grant enjoys exploring the psychological side of spending. Her experience serving as a caregiver to her mom makes her passionate about helping people find financial security amid life’s struggles.

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