After nearly four years of having their student loan payments suspended due to the pandemic, borrowers are bracing for October, when repayment resumes. But the government may be in for a surprise as a growing national movement takes shape to boycott payments, according to a survey released today by, a think tank that focuses on education issues.

Some 62% of 1,000 surveyed borrowers said they are “likely to boycott loan payments.”

These were among the other survey findings:

• Half of student loan borrowers believe a repayment boycott could lead to total debt forgiveness.

• Of those who plan to restart payments in October, 72% have or will take on extra work in order to make the payments.

• 48% are doubtful they will be able to afford their loan payments.

• Three in four borrowers who are likely to vote say a candidate’s student loan beliefs influence their vote.

The idea of withholding student loan payments has been gaining momentum as the restart date for payment approaches, with even some financial experts saying the strategy is viable because the Biden administration has significantly relaxed the actions that can be taken against delinquent borrowers.

In one example of borrower resistance, a student organization called the Debt Collective, a group that calls itself “a union for debtors,” has launched a boycott effort that it calls a "Student Debt Strike."

Formed in 2015 by students at Corinthian College, a chain of for-profit schools that deceived students about their job placement rates and ability to transfer credits., the group achieved success in 2022, convincing the Biden administration to cancel $5.6 billion in student loan debt impacting 560,000 borrowers, NPR reported.

Now the group hopes to rally borrowers to put similar pressure on President Joe Biden to cancel the country’s $1.7 trillion outstanding student loan balance.

While Biden instituted an executive order in August 2022 promising to cancel $10,000 in federal student loan debt for low- to middle-income borrowers—a key promise of his election campaign—six GOP-led states sued to overturn the plan on the grounds that the administration overstepped its administrative power. The U.S. Supreme Court subsequently overturned the cancellation of most federal student loan debt in June.

But borrowers haven’t given up hope. Three in four respondents said a boycott would be "somewhat" (44%) or "highly likely" (31%) to help elect politicians in favor of loan forgiveness.

The vast majority of likely boycotters said they are aware of the potential consequences of ceasing payments. Some 83% say they are "somewhat" (41%) or "highly concerned" (42%) about what could happen if they don’t pay their loans, found.