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Published: Aug 14, 2023 4 min read
Photo-illustration of graduation hats and a calendar.
Olive Burd / Money; Getty Images

Federal student loan payments will begin again this fall, and many borrowers are not prepared.

New survey data from credit monitoring service Credit Karma finds that 45% of borrowers say they expect to "go delinquent" on their loans when the federal forbearance period ends in October. (Thankfully, there won't be any penalties for missed payments for the first 12 months after the pause ends more on that below.)

It's no wonder borrowers are worried: In the more than three years since the pandemic pause on federal student loan payments began, living costs have skyrocketed in the United States. Inflation peaked at more than 9% last summer, housing costs have continued to rise in many cities and credit card debt recently reached an all-time high. At the same time, a growing share of Americans are raiding their 401(k)s for extra cash.