New Data Shows Student Loan Relief and Payment Progressions are Crucial for Mental Health and Financial Stability Amid Economic Uncertainty

Second The annual Mental Wealth survey examines trends surrounding the impact of financial stressors on mental health and finds that 93% of respondents are taking action to regain control of their finances

NEW YORK, October 20, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — More than 68% of student debt holders agree that making progress on their student loan debt would improve their mental health, and nearly half (46%) say paying off debt is their top financial goal for 2023, according to an annual survey commissioned by Laurel Road, a digital banking platform and brand of KeyBank with specialized offerings for healthcare and business professionals.

(PRNews photo/Laurel Road)

(PRNews photo/Laurel Road)

The survey, which polled 1,000 US adults, explores the link between mental health and financial management amid economic uncertainty. Nearly one in four Americans surveyed has student loan debt, including 16% with federal student loans that may be eligible for recent student loan forgiveness. Of those surveyed with student loan debt, more than half are already behind on their financial goals, and more than three in five debt holders often feel they have to make financial sacrifices to make their student loan payments on time. With this in mind, 88% of respondents are concerned about how a possible recession and rising inflation will affect their personal finances.

However, many student loan holders (42%) continued to make progress towards paying down debt during the federal student loan holiday, as did a smaller proportion who never stopped paying (19%). People are eager to reap the benefits of student loan forgiveness, and plans are already in place to make the most of the extra money in their wallets to increase their overall spiritual wealth. More than a third will use it to pay off their remaining student loan debt, and just as many plan to use the money to pay off other debt. In addition, a third of respondents plan to use it for savings or investments.

“The debt landscape, and student loan debt in particular, has changed dramatically over the past few months. Every day we hear questions from student loan borrowers about how they should feel about their student loans right now. We work to provide resources, guidance, and support to help you overcome your biggest financial challenges and improve your mental well-being. As debt settlement options become more complex, we offer debt counseling and public sector loan forgiveness management through GradFin, a group of experts who provide personalized solutions and advice to those who need it most. This aligns with our mission to provide financial security for all of our members throughout their journey,” he said Alyssa ShepherdGeneral Manager & Chief Experience Officer at Laurel Road.

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In spite of Faced with increasing financial pressures, young Americans are preparing for the future

Gen Z and Millennials continue to feel that their finances affect their mental health and overall well-being. Nearly four in five survey respondents under the age of 40 said they experience negative consequences from financial stress, up from the 72% of Americans under 40 who said managing their finances was taking a toll on their mental health in 2021. However, a clear majority agree that they would feel less stressed if they had more control over their finances (55%), and most respondents are starting to take action to ease the pressure of ongoing instability (93%).

This builds on trends from 2021, which found that a majority of young Americans (79%) felt they would feel less stressed about their financial situation if they were better informed about how they manage financial wellbeing achieve – a similar majority said they felt more in control of their finances by having a financial plan and that it would help them to talk to others about their financial situation.

Americans are taking action to regain control on the journey to financial security

While the majority of respondents (76%) do not feel financially stable, more guidance and resources could help many achieve their goals and put them back in control. Respondents cited being able to save more money, build their retirement savings, and find new tools to budget their money as the top ways they could take better control of their finances.

With many respondents feeling pressure to keep money in their bank accounts, less than a third believe their current bank or financial institution is helping them achieve financial stability. While the majority of respondents are comfortable talking to friends and family about their financial situation, only 11% have sought professional financial advice. Emotional concerns have been a critical turning point in seeking support, with more than a quarter of respondents simply too embarrassed about their current financial situation to speak openly about it, and younger Americans are twice as likely to be concerned about being stigmatized as seeking help will .

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“People want professional advice that can help them not only with the tactical next steps in their financial journey, but also to understand the side effects of financial stress and how to build a strong foundation for mental well-being,” he said Aye Evans, Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) and Financial Therapist for Laurel Road. “Laurel Road places a strong emphasis on achieving financial wellbeing and continues to expand its portfolio to provide members with the necessary resources needed to address and understand their financial situation with ease.”

With the holidays and the New Year just around the corner, Americans are prioritizing savings and financial resolutions

This holiday season will be shaped by the current financial reality Americans are facing, as survey respondents say they are now more focused than ever on saving money (84% compared to 66% in 2021). As a result, people plan to save money this season by talking to family and friends about less expensive or more meaningful gifts (27%), using hacks like credit card rewards points (27%), and even opening new checks or savings accounts to order to receive sign-up offers (13%). However, some budgets require more sacrifices — including reducing travel (28%) and savings (20%).

It’s clear that Americans have big plans for 2023 and beyond and plan to prioritize their financial security in the new year. Respondents’ top financial resolutions for 2023 include paying off debt, improving their credit score, and improving their relationship with money. As more and more people strive to take back control of their finances, setting clear goals and next steps is the first bridge to financial freedom.

To discuss trends surrounding personal finance and how they affect overall well-being, Laurel Road brings together personal finance and mental health experts for the event Managing your Mental Wealth with Laurel Road: The Path to Financial Resistance October 27th. Follow Laurel Road on Instagram for more updates.

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methodology

This survey was conducted by Wakefield Research among 1,000 nationally representative US adults 7th of Septemberth and 09/16th , 2022, with an email invitation and an online survey. The data were weighted to ensure an accurate representation of the nationally representative US adults. The results of each sample are subject to sampling variability. The amount of variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the percentages expressing the results. For the interviews conducted in this particular study, there is a 95 in 100 chance that a survey result will not vary by more than 3.1 percentage points, plus or minus, from the result that would have been obtained if interviews had been conducted with everyone in the Universe represented by the sample.

Via the Laurel Street

Laurel Road is a digital banking platform and brand of KeyBank that offers tailored offerings to support the financial well-being of healthcare and business professionals. Laurel Road’s banking and lending solutions, including High Yield Savings℠ Account, Student Loan Cashback℠ Credit Card, student loan refinance, mortgages, personal loans and more, offer our members a simplified, personalized experience to help them navigate their financial journey better control and achieve life goals. Additionally, Laurel Road has reimagined banking and financial management for physicians and dentists through Laurel Road for Doctors, a bespoke digital experience comprised of banking, insight and exclusive benefits to give them the financial support and security at every stage of their career that they need. In Spring 2022, Laurel Road launched Loyalty Checking, the first checking account designed specifically for nurses, furthering the company’s commitment to healthcare professionals. Since 2013, Laurel Road has helped thousands of undergraduate and postgraduate professionals do more than consolidate and refinance 9 billion dollars for government and private debt loans. Visit http://www.laurelroad.com for more information. Laurel Road is a trademark of the KeyBank National Association. All products offered by KeyBank NA Member FDIC. NMLS # 399797. Equal Housing Lender. © 2022 Key Corp® All rights reserved. Laurel Road is a federally registered service mark of KeyCorp.

CONTACT: KWT Global for Laurel Road, 646-989-8147, [email protected]

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