The Influence of Student Loan Debt on Financial Satisfaction

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



economic barriers, financial education, loan repayment


This research examined the influence of student loan debt on financial satisfaction using a sample of adults ages 18–54 from the 2015 National Financial Capability Study (NFCS). The study took advantage of the expanded set of variables related to student loan debt that was added to the 2015 wave of the NFCS survey. Results provided mixed evidence of student loan debt serving as an influential factor on consumer financial satisfaction. Whereas borrowing from multiple sources (federal and private) or private lenders only was associated with a lower likelihood of respondents indicating that they would make the same borrowing decisions, having student loan debt was not significantly associated with financial satisfaction. Implications for policy are considered.