Student Borrowers Desperate to Eliminate Debt
Half of student debtors would be willing to jump into a cage with a gorilla if it meant freedom from their education loans, according to a survey by blogger Drew Cloud.
“We wanted to see how far student debtors would go to pay off their student loan debt,” said Cloud, founder of the blog Student Loan Report, which released the online survey of 500 student debtors last month called “18 Insane Things Graduates Would Do to Get Rid of Their Student Loan Debt.”
Very few (8% to 9%), however, would be willing to give up their degrees or move to North Korea for 10 years as the price of clearing their debt.
“I don't know about you, but I don't think I would ever move to North Korea,” Cloud said.
Somewhat less than half (27% to 43%) would trade their debt for contracting the Zika virus, 10 years without sex, five years without toilet paper (or moist wipes) or a hookup with Caitlyn Jenner.
But erasing debts would be enough of an incentive for slightly more than half of the respondents (56% to 62%) to star in a short porn video, wear Crocs for the next 10 years or give up cheese for life. About the same number said they would vote for Hillary Clinton for president (56%) as Donald Trump (58%) if it would cancel student loans.
The choice was a no-brainer for an overwhelming majority (76% to 85%) of respondents if debt freedom could be gained for the mere sacrifice of a life without marijuana, lunch meats, bagels, Snapchat or the Game of Thrones cable series.
“I would hate to have anyone not watch the Game of Thrones; that would be a tragedy,” Jim Holt, chief revenue officer for the Washington-based CUSO Credit Union Student Choice, said.
Holt added, “I would encourage them to contact a CU Student Choice credit union. We actually want borrowers to exhaust all other options before they even consider a private student loan.”
Those options might include scholarships, grants and federal loans, he said.
Americans held $1.3 trillion in student loan debt at the end of March 2016, according to the New York Federal Reserve Bank’s household debt report. About 11% of the aggregate student loan debt was 90-plus days delinquent or in default, but Fed analysts estimated troubled loans run at about twice that rate if they include loans in deferment, grace periods or forbearance.
On the bright side, delinquency rates for recent grads have ebbed since hitting a high two years ago, according to the U.S. Education Department.