A survey commissioned for the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculty found that many Pennsylvanians with student loan debt would have trouble with an unexpected emergency.
The survey by the data intelligence company Morning Consult found 60 percent of those surveyed are only just able to cover their monthly expenses and would have trouble with an unexpected emergency.
“Through our work on student debt, APSCUF received a grant that enabled us to work with the Center for Responsible Lending, and they commissioned Morning Consult,” said Kathryn Morton, spokeswoman for the union representing faculty at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and the other Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education institutions.
The survey also found that 35 percent of Pennsylvania borrowers are not aware of how the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security or CARES Act affected their loans — with a quarter of those surveyed reporting they were “not aware at all” of the CARES Act.
“Pennsylvania is consistently ranked near the bottom of all student-debt categories, whether it be the amount of total outstanding student-loan debt or debt at time of graduation,” APSCUF President and IUP faculty member Dr. Jamie Martin said.
“Morning Consult’s survey results furthered our fears: Not only are borrowers still struggling, but they lack clear resources to inform them of major changes such as the CARES Act.”
Further details of the survey were to be released next week, but another finding was that there is 78 percent support, covering both major political parties, to extend federal monthly payment relief through September 2021.