The Supreme Court struck down the Biden administration’s student loan forgiveness plan on June 30, and loan payments are going to restart in October.

To find how prepared they are for payments to resume, in July, surveyed 977 borrowers who qualified under Biden’s plan for up to $20k in federal student loan relief.

Key findings:

  • Three-quarters of borrowers were confident they would receive the relief they qualified for under Biden’s plan
  • Nearly half of borrowers who believed they would receive relief spent money they otherwise would not have
  • 37% used the money to pay off other debt, while others spent it on unnecessary purchases, including vacations, substances, and gambling
  • 58% are unprepared for payments to resume

1 in 3 borrowers spent extra money assuming forgiveness

A majority (75%) of borrowers who qualified for Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan were confident that they would receive at least $10,000 in relief. In fact, 32% say they were ‘very confident,’ while 43% say they were ‘somewhat confident.’

Had they not been at least somewhat confident that they would receive at least $10,000 in student debt relief, in the past year, 45% (or 34% of the total sample) of borrowers say they spent more money than they otherwise likely would have.

Overall, 5% say they spent an additional $10,000, while 9% say they spent $7,501-$10,000 and 17% spent $5,001-$7,500.

37% used the money to pay off other debt

The plurality of borrowers (44%) say they spent the money on retail items, while 37% say it was used to pay off other debts, 33% home and auto repairs, and 30% rent payments.

Additionally, 20% say they spent the money on vacation, while 16% spent it on childcare, 13% on a down payment for a car, and 10% on a down payment for a home.

Others say they used the money for alcohol/drugs (8%) and gambling (7%).

James Allen, founder of, Certified Financial Education Instructor (CFEI), Financial Advisor, and Certified Public Accountant (CPA) discusses the impact of the Supreme Court decision.

“The Supreme Court decision is a cold shower for those who had their hopes pinned on a $10,000 relief. It’s like waiting for a tax refund only to find out the IRS made a mistake. The impact? Well, it’s back to square one, folks. The dream of a financial breather has evaporated..

“The Supreme Court decision might be a setback, but it’s not the end of the world. It’s just a reminder that in the game of loans, the house always wins.”

58% are unprepared for payments to resume

More than half of borrowers (58%) say they are ‘very unprepared’ (35%) or ‘somewhat unprepared’ (23%) for payments to resume. Only 12% say they are ‘very prepared, while 28% say ‘somewhat prepared.’

Additionally, 27% say they are ‘likely’ (10%) or ‘somewhat likely’ (19%) to refuse to pay the $10,000 in relief they thought they were going to receive.

The vast majority (77%) of borrowers say they ‘strongly disagree’ (54%) or ‘disagree’ (23%) with the Supreme Court’s decision.

Fred Amrein, PayForED CEO/Founder and expert in student loan repayment and forgiveness, suggests borrowers do the following to prepare for payments to resume:

  • Confirm and update contact information on the website, including mailing address, email address, and cell number.
  • Confirm who your loan servicer(s) are. This is listed on the site. Over 18 million borrowers have a new loan servicer.
  • Review loan balances and current repayment methods.
  • Investigate alternatives to repayment.


All data found within this report derives from a survey conducted on July 6-10, 2023 by survey platform Pollfish. In total 977 respondents who qualified for Biden’s student loan forgiveness program were surveyed. Screening questions and demographic criteria were used to ensure qualified respondents. For more information contact [email protected].