Feeling anxious and depressed about loans and the uncertainty of your financial future may seem abnormal, but in actuality, these worries are common among college students. In fact, these feelings are called student debt anxiety.
According to Student Loan Planner’s 2019 mental health report, 53% of respondents felt depressed because of their student loans. 90% of respondents also said their student loans made them feel anxious.
With the tuition of both private and public education on the rise, more students are turning to federal and private loans to afford a degree. No longer can middle class, or even upper-middle class, families afford the six figure prices of higher education.
“The middle class is slowly disappearing again and more and more people are considered low-income,” Emily Cardona, a junior at Emerson College, says. “But we want to go to college and we don't have thousands of dollars laying around, so we have to get loans.”
The average undergraduate student loan debt for 2019 was $30,000, an increase of 26% of student borrowing in the last decade, according to U.S. News. In addition, the Federal Reserve also reported in 2018 that two out of 10 student loan borrowers are behind on their replacements. Statistics like these can increase student debt anxiety, as it demonstrates the difficulty of repaying loans post-graduation.
“In order to receive a good education they make it seem as though you have to pay an arm and a leg, which is not true,” Taylor, a junior at Emerson College says. “I believe [these] pressures such as debt only add to the bigger problem of mental health and make [us] feel trapped.”