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4 Out of 5 College Students Face Financial Troubles Due to Coronavirus Pandemic
Local & National News | April 15, 2020
Student Loan Hero report finds Black and Hispanic students report higher levels of food and housing insecurity due to the global health pandemic than their white peers

81% of full-time college and university students are facing financial difficulties due to the current coronavirus pandemic, with more than a quarter having trouble paying bills or feeding themselves, according to a new report from student debt resource platform Student Loan Hero.

Some of the most alarming data in the report suggests that the current coronavirus pandemic may be disproportionately affecting college students of color.

"Black and Hispanic students reported a much higher level of food and housing insecurity due to the COVID-19 pandemic than their white peers. Specifically, 33% of black students were having trouble covering food costs, and 22% struggled with housing expenses," said Rebecca Safier, the report's lead researcher. "In those same categories, the figures were 36% and 18% respectively, for Hispanic students. By comparison, 21% of white students reported suffering from food insecurity, and 14% faced housing issues."

To cope with some of the unique challenges facing full-time college students during this global health crisis, more than one-third of students (36%) are taking on additional debt. Over 17% reported amassing credit card debt, and 16% said they had to borrow additional student loans.

Student loan borrowers (47%) were more likely to take on additional debt than those without student loans (19%). And students who identified as either black or Hispanic were much more likely to be taking on debt (48%) than white students (29%).

Additional Key Findings

  • Higher levels of food and housing insecurity due to the global health pandemic are affecting Black (33% and 22% respectively) and Hispanic students (36% and 18% respectively), compared to their white counterparts.
  • About 1 in 4 students lost their job due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • More than one-third of students are taking on debt to cope with losses caused by the pandemic. Over 17% reported amassing credit card debt, and 16% said they had to borrow additional student loans.
  • Black and Hispanic students were much more likely to be taking on debt (48%) to deal with the crisis than their white peers (29%).
  • Almost half (49%) of graduating seniors think the pandemic will impact their chances of finding a job after graduation. And nearly 51% of all students said they felt less prepared to enter the workforce because of COVID-19.
  • Most students (77%) want at least partial student loan forgiveness from the government. This number was higher among women than men (81% versus 74%) and highest among student loan borrowers (84%).

SEE THE FULL SURVEY RESULTS HERE

Survey Methodology

Student Loan Hero commissioned Qualtrics to conduct an online survey of 1,052 full-time college students. The survey was fielded March 25-26, 2020.

About Student Loan Hero

Student Loan Hero, a subsidiary of LendingTree, combines easy-to-use tools with financial education to help the millions of Americans living with student loan debt manage and pay off their loans. The website provides information about repayment options, including refinancing, income-driven repayment, and deferment. Student Loan Hero has helped more than 250,000 borrowers manage and eliminate over $3.5 billion in student loan debt since 2012 and assists over 3.5 million people in becoming more financially healthy every year.

Founded in 2012 by CEO Andrew Josuweit, who himself had over $100,000 in student loans, Student Loan Hero operates on the belief that all loan help and recommendations should come with honesty and no hidden agenda.

For more information, visit https://studentloanhero.com.

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