Borrowers prefer student loan payments to gifts this holiday season, study suggests

Graduation money
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For many the holidays in the U.S. are a time for friends and families to exchange gifts, but a new survey suggests those with student loan debt would prefer some financial help.

A poll conducted in November by Student Loan Report found nearly 70 percent of student loan borrowers would prefer a payment toward their loans over a gift of equal value. The poll asked 1,000 people paying off student loans the question, "If you had the choice this year, would you rather receive a gift this holiday season (ex. Christmas gift, Hanukkah gift, Kwanzaa gift) or an equally valued payment towards your student loans?" From those respondents, 69.3 percent said they would rather receive a student loan payment while 30.7 percent said they would rather receive the gift.

Another question posed suggested millennials asked "If you receive money as a gift this holiday season, are you planning to use the money to make a payment towards your student loan debt?" Nearly three out of five of the poll participants (58.5 percent) said they would use the money to make a payment. Business Insider reported the trend is in line with other data on stagnating wages and a decline in Christmas spending, despite a strong U.S. economy.

Student Loan Report says around 45 million – roughly 70 percent of college students – have student loans, and that the national student loan debt is $1.41 trillion ($1,410,000,000,000). The average college student will owe nearly $28,000 in educational debt when they graduate.

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It is important to note that the study does not indicate people are asking for loan repayments, but that they would prefer the repayment over a gift. Student Loan Report said the poll was conducted Nov. 10-11, and included 1,000 student loan borrowers who were working to repay student loan debt. TAP OR CLICK HERE for more information from the poll.