Financial health is mental health.
Like many Americans, some of us here at The Feelings Healers have mountains (heck, whole ranges) of student loan debt. While for some this may be a matter of principles, morality, or even politics (whyyyyyyyy?) — we just want to cut through the static a bit.
- Understand the federal student loan relief program.
- Watch out for scammers — yes, they’re out there.
- Trust in the benefits of debt relief.
- Know the timeline and when to apply!
According to the White House:
House, T. (2022). FACT SHEET: President Biden Announces Student Loan Relief for Borrowers Who Need It Most – The White House. Retrieved 21 September 2022, from https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2022/08/24/fact-sheet-president-biden-announces-student-loan-relief-for-borrowers-who-need-it-most/
If all borrowers claim the relief they are entitled to, these actions will:
- Provide relief to up to 43 million borrowers, including cancelling the full remaining balance for roughly 20 million borrowers.
- Target relief dollars to low- and middle-income borrowers. The Department of Education estimates that, among borrowers who are no longer in school, nearly 90% of relief dollars will go to those earning less than $75,000 a year. No individual making more than $125,000 or household making more than $250,000 – the top 5% of incomes in the United States – will receive relief.
- Help borrowers of all ages. The Department of Education estimates that, among borrowers who are eligible for relief, 21% are 25 years and under and 44% are ages 26-39. More than a third are borrowers age 40 and up, including 5% of borrowers who are senior citizens.
- Advance racial equity. By targeting relief to borrowers with the highest economic need, the Administration’s actions are likely to help narrow the racial wealth gap. Black students are more likely to have to borrow for school and more likely to take out larger loans. Black borrowers are twice as likely to have received Pell Grants compared to their white peers. Other borrowers of color are also more likely than their peers to receive Pell Grants. That is why an Urban Institute study found that debt forgiveness programs targeting those who received Pell Grants while in college will advance racial equity.
Financial stress is a vicious cycle.
Fears such as not being able to pay rent or bills on time each month can lead to symptoms of depression and PTSD—issues that make those suffering likely to budget poorly and spend irresponsibly. According to The Shriver Report, “23% of low-income employees exhibit two of the three indicators of depression, compared with 10% of high-income employees.”
“The Correlation Between Financial Stress And Health | Payactiv”. 2017. Payactiv. https://www.payactiv.com/blog/correlation-health-decline-financial-stress/.