Student loans, physical and mental health, and health care use and delay in college

Arielle Kuperberg, Kenneshia Williams, Joan Maya Mazelis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Determine relationships between college students’ student loan presence and self-rated physical and mental health, major medical problems, mental health conditions, physical, dental, and mental health care visits and delays, and medication use and reductions. Participants: A total of 3,248 undergraduates at two regional public U.S. universities, surveyed Spring 2017. Methods: OLS and Logistic regression. Results: Loan presence was related to significantly worse self-rated physical and mental health and more major medical problems, but not to mental health conditions, or physical or mental health medication use. Respondents with loans were less likely to visit the dentist and more likely to report delaying medical, dental, and mental health care, and reducing medication use to save money. Conclusions: Results provide evidence of health and health care use divides among college students by loan presence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of American College Health
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


  • Debt
  • health
  • health care use
  • mental health
  • student loans


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