Whether it be Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or another holiday, December is the month of giving and receiving. 

For borrowers currently in repayment on their educational debt, they will have no choice but to give during the holiday season. Across the United States, millions of student debtors will send their December student loan payments to either a federal student loan servicer or private student loan company. 

After they have done all of their giving, what will student loan borrowers desire most as a present? A VR headset, the iPhone X, tickets to Super Bowl LII? 

A single student loan payment?

The Student Loan Report polled 1,000 student loan borrowers currently in repayment to find out if they would rather receive a gift or an equally-valued student loan payment this holiday season. 

69.30% of Borrowers Would Rather Receive a Student Loan Payment Instead of a Gift This Holiday Season

The Student Loan Report presented the following question to 1,000 student loan borrowers currently in repayment: "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?"

Over two-thirds (69.30 percent) of respondents would prefer an equally valued student loan payment this holiday season instead of a traditional holiday present, which was the preferred option for 30.70 percent of borrowers in repayment. 

A result like this just goes to show just how serious the student loan debt crisis in the U.S. has become. In a time when you are left in the dust if you are not up-to-speed on all the latest tech gadgets and products, student loan borrowers would still prefer a contribution towards their educational debt.

According to our data, the national student loan debt is currently $1.41 trillion, an amount owed by more than 44 million borrowers. The average student loan borrower owes $27,857 in educational debt upon graduation. 

Money As a Holiday Present? Might As Well Put It Right Towards Student Loan Debt  

The following question was proposed to our 1,000 poll participants: "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?"

A comfortable majority of student loan borrowers in repayment, 58.50 percent, fully intend to put any money they receive during the 2017 holiday season towards their debt. 41.50 percent will spend that money elsewhere.

Money, while lacking in sentimental value, is a great gift because of its versatility; it can be used to buy anything the gift-receiver desires. According to our data, student debtors most desire the ability to chip away at their student loan debt. 

This is both an encouraging and unfortunate data-point. Encouraging because student debtors have their priorities in order and are making a practical, forward-thinking decision to put holiday money towards their debt instead of something more tangible. Unfortunate because it is a shame that young Americans have been placed in the middle of a failing, desperate situation that does not allow them to spend their money on things meant for enjoyment. 


The Student Loan Report used the services of Pollfish, an online polling company, to run this poll. 1,000 student loan borrowers currently in repayment were polled on two questions. Poll participants were screened with this question: "Which of the following best describes your current financial situation?" The only permissible answer was "Currently working to repay student loan debt." These poll results were collected for two days, starting on November 10, 2017 and ending on November 11, 2017. 

Image Copyright © Alice Harold