When the Class of 2016 graduated last spring, the average graduate walked away with two things: their diploma, and over $28,000 in student loan debt. With the second semester in full swing, the Class of 2017 should be preparing for the same outcome. These seniors will soon be joining the 43 million Americans working to repay an estimated $1.3 trillion in student debt.

The student loan debt problem has a lasting effect on the lives of graduates long after “Pomp and Circumstance” signals the end of their college careers. In our previous study, we found that student loan debt is causing 63% of graduates to delay buying a home, 28% of graduates to put off marriage, and 73% of graduates to put off saving for retirement.

The clear impact that student loan debt has on graduates in the United States has led us here at Student Loan Report to raise the question: How far would borrowers go to have their student loan debt completely erased? 

To answer this question, our team commissioned an online survey of 501 student loan borrowers; participants were asked if they would complete an outrageous task in exchange for forgiveness of their student loan debt. The results of our survey are undoubtedly entertaining, but also demonstrate the extreme measures graduates will take to payoff their student loan debt.

Here are the highlights from our survey:

  • 22.75% of borrowers would help their best friend dispose of a dead body, if it meant that they would have no more student loan debt.

  • 44.51% of borrowers would give up WiFi for the next five years, if it meant that they would have no more student loan debt.

  • 45.51% of borrowers would work on the construction of Trump’s border wall for one year, if it meant that they would have no more student loan debt.

  • 39.12% of borrowers would be Trump’s personal butler for the next four years, if it meant that they would have no more student loan debt.

  • 18.76% of borrowers would let the panda bear go extinct in 2017, if it meant that they would have no more student loan debt.

  • 70.46% of borrowers would give up Netflix forever, if it meant that they would have no more student loan debt.

  • 49.30% of borrowers would serve in the military, if it meant that they would have no more student loan debt.

  • 20.96% of borrowers would give up all future social security benefits, if it meant that they would have no more student loan debt.

  • 24.15% of borrowers would let the government have access to all of their devices and social media outlets, if it meant that they would have no more student loan debt.

  • 61.28% of borrowers would sacrifice their favorite sports team never winning a championship again, if it meant that they would have no more student loan debt.

  • 45.51% of borrowers would only eat burnt toast for the next three years, if it meant that they would have no more student loan debt.

  • 39.72% of borrowers would live with the “cash me outside” girl for one year, if it meant that they would have no more student loan debt.

  • 18.56% of borrowers would swim in shark infested waters for one hour, if it meant that they would have no more student loan debt.

  • 5.79% of borrowers would exchange bodily fluids with Charlie Sheen, if it meant that they would have no more student loan debt.

  • 30.34% of borrowers would rather have their student loan debt forgiven than be given free health care for life.

  • The average borrower would shorten their life by 3.11 years to eliminate $15,550 of their student loan debt.

While it was our utmost intention to bring to light the gravity of the student loan debt problem through humor, we apologize if you were offended by any of the questions. Graduates are combatting a collective $1.3 trillion in student loan debt in the United States, and we hope this study demonstrates just how desperate they are to erase this humongous burden. Currently, the Department of Education is not offering any of these unique initiatives to graduates looking to pay off their student loans.

For reference, the participants in this survey all currently held student debt. Our survey was conducted online through Pollfish from February 6th through February 7th.

See the accompanying infographic below:​

Outrageous Student Loan Graphic

©2017