With federal student loan payments resuming back in October of this year, it’s been one of the most hot button issues over the course of 2023. Back in September before the payments resumed, we ran a large N survey on consumers to see how they would react to having to make payments going forward. 34% of respondents who had their student loans paused stated that they had increased their discretionary spending because of it. We cross-tabbed our responses by age and found that an overwhelming portion of those who have been spending more, are likely to fall within younger age cohorts (recent university graduates). Of these respondents that paused their payments, a large portion stated that they would have to cut back on their discretionary spending once they resume. The top things that these respondents called out as something they would cut back on include eating out/food, clothing, and streaming subscriptions. Respondents who increased their spending during the pause period have a generally more optimistic view on their personal finances than those who paused their payments and did not increase spending. Personal care and beauty were the most resistant to cuts, followed by tobacco, streaming music subscriptions, video games, furniture, and streaming video subscriptions.