The CSS is an annual telephone survey of roughly 2,700 borrowers of all ages (in-study and in repayment). The 2011 and 2012 surveys used in this study elicit unique information about background characteristics (e.g., gender, province of residence, education level, and field of study), financial resources (e.g., respondent and spousal income, debt levels for a variety of liabilities, asset levels, housing, and family/parental support), and perceptions about the consequences of not repaying loans.

The CSS contains variables on: repayment outcomes (as of the time CSS was given), potential repayment determinants (loan amount, current income, degree attained, gender, age, ethnicity, loan type), parental help with repayment, and dependency status.

The CSS contains a unique survey question, which asks which type of loan (e.g. CSLP, credit cards, home mortgage) borrowers would repay first if financial difficulties prevented them from paying them all.

Research Notes:

Analysis of loan repayment behavior within the CSLP is made possible by augmenting CSLP administrative data detailing debt amounts and repayment outcomes with data from a survey – the Client Satisfaction Survey (CSS) – that elicits information about potential determinants of repayment problems.

In order to complete their study, Lochner, Stinebrickner, and Suleymanoglu matched respondents from the CSS with their administrative records from the CSLP, which provide information regarding their loan balances and repayment outcomes (i.e., loan status) throughout the entire time they were clients. Administrative records also contain information on any repayment assistance programs the respondents may have benefited from, as well as information about respondents’ parental income levels (for dependent students).