Student loan debt – the ball and chain of modern society. You hear about this all the time when it comes to subjects relating to education, and often it’s about how crippling the debt is. Not just a boogeyman only belonging to students, this debt affects how everyone makes decisions about their future. American Student Assistance, for example, ran a survey and found that approximately 70% of those with debt said it made them reconsider purchasing homes or saving for retirement. That’s a pretty big deal, considering it’s the future students supposedly get their education for.
What would it be like to have no student debt then? Well, LendEDU, a student loan refinancing marketplace, ran its own survey asking what students or those with loan debt would do to be free of it. The questions were creative to say the least.
About 56% of the surveyed students (about 700 graduates) said they would give up alcohol and recreational drugs for life to remove debt. A slightly higher percentage said they would give up coffee for life, though we suppose that’s a comment on just how caffeine dependent we’ve all become.
Others were also pretty goofy. Give up texting for life, take a punch from Mike Tyson, even naming your first kid Sallie Mae (a lender of student loans currently grounded in controversy). Others got more extreme though. Smaller percentages said they’d be willing to cut off their pinky finger, roughly 6%. In addition, 4% said they might move to Syria for life. Another 4% remarked they’d be willing to take on a random sexually transmitted disease for life. Yikes.
Ultimately, a lot of them might have been joking or just said “yes” because it would never happen. But if they were serious, it demonstrates how severe a problem student loan debt is, and the extent to which some may go to get away from it.
As it stands, the only real way to be free of heavy debt is to borrow responsibly and estimate the success of a taken college career path. The survey conducted by the ASA shows how powerful an impact huge debt has on the future of so many, and there are no Mike Tyson punches to get out of it. Hopefully, with student loan debt becoming the focal point of today’s political and public conversations, needed change will come soon, but for now, dreaming extreme solutions is just that: a dream.