A new research brief, released today, finds that student loan debt affects the mental health of Black student borrowers.

The summary, published by the Education Trust, is the second of four parts from the National Black Student Debt Study, a survey of nearly 1,300 black borrowers and 100 in-depth questions. It found that 64 percent of respondents said that student loans damaged their feelings. Even among students with a cash-driven repayment plan, many said the loans were a “financial stressor” and came with psychological problems.

This brief shares the stories of Black borrowers who said in interviews that student loan debt caused some of them depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts.

Another borrower named Yvonne said that the failure to repay her loans and the delayed payments caused her depression. He borrowed $58,000.

He said: “That was the most difficult time of my life. “I felt like I wasn’t paying enough for my family, because I wasn’t getting enough salary. But, again, it was because of my choice. So, for me, it was a double-edged sword. I started to feel depressed. And I’m a very visible type of person. I drank a lot then, I’ll be honest. And I didn’t know where to go. I didn’t know who to talk to. I didn’t know how to solve this problem.

The bill recommends canceling at least $50,000 in federal student loans regardless of amount, type of loan or degree. (Eighty percent of respondents encouraged the federal government to eliminate all student loans.) It also suggests doubling the Pell Grant, making public college free through federal-state partnerships and reforming managed loan repayment plans. .

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