As hope grows for a future beyond COVID-19, there is one group that deserves our overwhelming appreciation and respect – the frontline healthcare professionals who fought to keep us safe during the pandemic. Our cutting edge healthcare professionals are under tremendous pressure, and unfortunately student loans only add to that burden.
BUT student loan borrowers survey found that healthcare providers were still struggling with student loan arrears. 66% of healthcare professionals experienced increased anxiety, depression, or stress due to student loan debt during the pandemic, while 48% of healthcare respondents said they still cannot afford student loan repayments, even with ongoing federal COVID-19 relief efforts.
Although both federal student loans and interest were suspended from March 2020 to September of this year, many borrowers in the medical field were unable to reap all of these benefits for several reasons.
Since many of those working in the healthcare industry must have advanced degrees and full years of residency, private loans may be the only option for some to finance their education. Most of the private loans still required monthly payments during the pandemic. Some may think that healthcare professionals earn high income and can afford to pay their debts. However, this is not the case in all cases, given the average annual income of a nurse. starts below 60 thousand dollars…
There has been much talk about the future of the public service loan forgiveness program, and headlines that only a handful of healthcare professionals will be able to access this much-needed program, largely due to administrative hurdles.
Latest Department of Education data shows that there is a high barrier to passing a loan forgiveness. According to their November 2020 report, 99% of applicants were rejected, but most rejections were due to correctable errors such as not making 120 monthly payments, incorrect repayment plan or loan type, or missing 10+ handmade pages. … Many healthcare professionals rely on this program to keep them from being tied to student debt for decades. It is imperative that we help healthcare professionals get the student loan forgiveness they deserve.
Plus, student loan debt and mental health are inextricably linked. We found that 65% of borrowers experience increased anxiety, depression, or stress due to the burden of student loan debt during the COVID-19 pandemic. Helping the people who have kept our country open and 300 million Americans alive and well for over a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic to obtain the necessary loan forgiveness is an important step in alleviating a major source of mental and financial stress.
Working with doctors, nurses, and administrators at many major hospitals and healthcare facilities, I have seen borrowers go from the hopelessness of endless student loan debt to the delight of loan forgiveness. Ultimately, employers can be the first to help their employees find a brighter financial future.
Tobin Van Ostern co-founder Savi, an online service that helps student loan borrowers choose the best repayment and forgiveness options. Savi is a student loan guide provided by leading employers, financial institutions and member groups. Previously, Van Ostern led the 2008 Obama campaign, the Center for American Progress and YI Advisors, producing numerous national news articles. Write to us and find out more: [email protected]… Savi and our partners are focused on ensuring that frontline healthcare professionals can access the student loan forgiveness they need and deserve.