30% of Americans Would Sell an Organ to Pay Down College Debt

Source: iStock
Source: iStock

Just how desperate are you to pay down student loan debt? If the latest report by personal finance site MyBankTracker is any indication, the answer is “very.” The website surveyed its users (the group had an average student loan balance of $34,000) about their level of desperation when it comes to educational debt. The analysis found some debtors (30%) are willing to give up a body part in order to make their debt disappear.

“While MyBankTracker does not condone the use of these extreme measures, it’s interesting to see the percentage of respondents who would resort to them. It shows there are plenty of people who strive to erase their student loan debt as soon as possible,” said Simon Zhen, a researcher MyBankTracker.

Privacy is also up for discussion when it comes to crushing student loan debt. For some debtors it’s not so important when faced with the possibility of receiving a big payout. The survey found more than half of respondents (55%) would be willing to forgo their privacy by appearing on a reality TV show if that meant they could be debt free. Reality TV stars can make big bucks. MyBankTracker research found that the stars on A&Es “Duck Dynasty” make roughly $200,000 per episode.

When it comes to chipping away at a debt mountain, some people are also willing to become a lot less materialistic. Those who took the survey said they would consider significant downsizing. Approximately 43% of survey takers said they would part ways with half of their possessions if that meant they could be free and clear of student loan debt.

Source: iStock
Source: iStock

Know that there are better options. You don’t have to resort to desperate measures in order to pay down educational debt.

1. Talk to your lender

As soon as you realize you are having difficulty making the minimum payment on your student loans, call your lender. Help is only a phone call away. They may be able to set you up with income-based repayment or one of the other payment plans so that you’ll be able to catch up and afford to repay your debt.

2. Consider forbearance or deferment

If you’ve hit a rough patch, such as a layoff, divorce, or some other financial hardship, contact your lender immediately. You may be able to qualify for a temporary relief from loan payments through deferment or forbearance. Know that this is not an option if you are currently in default on your federal student loans. You must contact your lender well before you get to this point.

3. Watch how much you borrow

If you have plans to continue your education and you’ve decided to use loans to bridge the gap, be conservative with your borrowing. Know that you can borrow less than the amount that your school offers to you. It’s important not to borrow more than you need so that you can reduce the amount of time it will take to repay your debt obligation.

“Think about how the amount of your loans will affect your future finances, and how much you can afford to repay. Your student loan payments should be only a small percentage of your salary after you graduate, so it’s important not to borrow more than you need for your school-related expenses,” warns the Federal Student Aid website.
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