How far would millennials go to ditch student loan debt? Many would give up voting



Myles Ma

Myles Ma

Senior Reporter

Myles Ma is a senior reporter at Policygenius, where he covers personal finance and insurance and writes the Easy Money newsletter. His expertise has been featured in The Washington Post, PBS, CNBC, CBS News, USA Today, HuffPost, Salon, Inc. Magazine, MarketWatch, and elsewhere.

Published October 2, 2017 | 2 min read

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Featured Image How far would millennials go to ditch student loan debt? Many would give up voting

Many millennials would take drastic measures to be free from student debt. That includes giving up the freedom to choose their leaders.

Nearly half of millennial student loan holders would give up voting in the next two presidential elections if it meant having their debt forgiven, according to a survey conducted by Credible. The poll asked 500 respondents ages 18 through 34 what they would give up to have their student loan debt forgiven.

Credible received 921 responses — participants could give more than one answer. A little less than 50% said they would give up their votes in the 2020 and 2024 elections.

43.6% said they would give up ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft, while 42.4% said they would give up international travel for five years. Millennials are loath to give up one right: Only 13.2% said they would give up texting.

A sign of millennial apathy?

So yeah, whatever oppressive regime ends up in charge is fine as long as we can keep communicating with each other in an impersonal way. These people know calling each other is a thing, right?

Nearly half of millennial voters didn’t vote in the last election anyway. Turnout for the age group was just 49.4%, compared to 61.4% of overall voters, so maybe this isn’t surprising.

The student debt burden

Whatever their priorities are, millennials are struggling with lots of student debt. According to the U.S. Department of Education, the outstanding federal student loan debt total is more than $1.3 trillion held by 42 million people. The outstanding balance for private student loans is nearly $64 billion, according to MeasureOne, a higher education data firm.

Perhaps because of this burden, millennials are susceptible to financial pitfalls, failing to tend to their credit scores, or retirement accounts. Here are a few ways millennials can dig their way out of any financial trouble they fall into.

Many millennials have opted to ditch the traditional housing market and started buying up RVs and sailboats, or living with older people. Stagnant wages and less permanent working arrangements often make a 30-year mortgage unrealistic.

On top of this, millennials are probably the most scrutinized generation, blamed for dozens of social ills like the death of marriage, the death of the housing market, the death of chain restaurant, the death of loyalty and a host of other things. No wonder they retreat into their phones.

Image: Tempura