Some student loan borrowers have started to “boycott” their payments in the hope that Democrat President Joe Biden and his administration will agree to wipe all of their debts.
The effort was revealed in a new survey from Intelligent.com.
9% of those who had not paid at all said they were not paying to pressure the government into canceling their debt.
According to the survey, about 44% of those boycotting their payments said they believe their protest will result in the government canceling at least some federal student loan debt.
Roughly 28% said they think the boycott is “likely” to succeed in getting the government to cancel all student loan debt.
As many as 86% said they think it is “very” or “somewhat likely” that the boycott will bring attention to the student loan issue.
After more than three years, the pandemic pause on student loan payments expired in October.
The Department of Education said last month that close to nine million people missed their first payment.
That means about 40% of the 22 million people who had student loan payments due in October still had not made a payment by well into November.
For comparison, less than 26% of borrowers missed their payment in October 2019, before the pandemic pause went into effect in March 2020 in the thick of the COVID pandemic.
In June, the Supreme Court struck down President Biden’s massive $430 billion student debt relief plan that would have forgiven 40 million people’s loans.
After the court’s decision, Biden said he would “stop at nothing to find other ways to deliver relief to hard-working middle-class families.”
Biden has still managed to forgive up to $116 billion in student loans for more than 3.4 million people, the administration said in August.
Leftist lawmakers and activists have long called for broad student debt relief, and for years have urged the Biden administration to grant it.
Critics argue that forgiving student loans is unfair to those who sacrificed to pay off their loans, especially since taxpayers ultimately pay for any government-funded debt relief.
About 69% of the borrowers who had not made a payment after the pause ended said they could not afford to do so, the Intelligent.com survey found.
About 18% of borrowers who had not started making payments again said they planned to wait until September, which is when the more severe consequences for missing payments kick in.
For the next few months, the Biden administration has an “on-ramp” program to protect borrowers from the “harshest consequences” of missed payments such as delinquency, default, and mandatory collections.