Online Lenders

4 charts that show just how big a deal student debt is

  • Student debt hit historical highs in 2019 with $1.5 trillion in outstanding loans.
  • A new survey by Pillar asked people just how far they'd go to get rid of their loans.
close

Email a Friend

4 charts that show just how big a deal student debt is

Student debt is heavy on Americans. 44 million borrowers who collectively owe $1.5 trillion in student loan debt in the U.S. alone. It’s impacting job prospects, career paths, and mental and physical health.

Fintech has stepped in to help. Firms like CommonBond are helping to turn student loan repayment into an employee perk. Personal finance app Digit recently launched student loan repayment automation.

Pillar, a personal finance app that helps people pay off their student loan debt faster, conducted a survey of 1,190 student loan borrowers across the US to find out how far they would go to get their student loan debt paid off in 2020.

Individual borrowers

Source: Pillar
  • Pillar surveyed 1180 student loan borrowers across the U.S.
  • The majority of responses came from middle America versus the coasts. New Yorkers participated at a higher rate than did people living in California.
  • Respondents have on average $44,000 in student loan debt left to pay off

Over the past three decades, the average cost to attend a public four-year institution has more than tripled, and more than doubled at private four-year schools, according to The College Board.

What would you do to get out of debt?

Source: Pillar

The Pillar survey asked people what they would do in order to get their loans paid off. Their answers were pretty interesting:

  • 63% would vote for Kanye West as President
  • 58% would change their name to Baby Yoda
  • 51% would lick peanut butter off Trump’s toes
  • 44% would chug a gallon of rotten milk
  • 34% would lick the bathroom floor of a frat house

What would you give up to have your loans paid off?

Source: Pillar

The survey also inquired as to what people with student debt would be willing to give up in 2020 to make that happen:

  • 67% would give up Social Media Apps (FB, IG, Twitter, TikTok)
  • 64% would give up Alcohol
  • 60% would give up all streaming services (Netflix, HBO, Disney+, Hulu)
  • 52% would give up all ridesharing services (Uber, Lyft, Via)
  • 45% would give up all music services (Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora)
  • 39% would give up sex
  • 95% of respondents were female with an average age of 32 y/o 

What else would you do?

Souce: Pillar

Stress under student debt is real. When asked what else they might do to get out of debt, respondents answered some pretty extreme things. Some of those included:

  • I would go streaking
  • I’d wear a wedding dress everywhere for a week
  • I’d tattoo brands on my body for paid sponsorship
  • I would do literally anything short of harming a living thing

While the first two responses were likely tongue in cheek, the second two really show the extent people with the stress of student debt are willing to go to alleviate it.

0 comments on “4 charts that show just how big a deal student debt is”

Outlier OpinionsMakers

Online Lenders

Sorbet’s creative new approach to refinancing employees’ paid time off

  • Sorbet is helping employees and employers make the most of PTOs by helping them track burnout and well-being levels.
  • Employees' unused PTOs generally sit on a company's balance sheet as liabilities for an extended period, and Sorbet's solution caters to that too.
Subboh Jaffery | June 28, 2022
Member Exclusive, Online Lenders

Lending Briefing: The SMB Brexit, and digital lending VC funding

  • Given the recent announcement from expense management platform Brex to stop serving SMBs, how are its competitors looking to address the market?
  • We also take a look at the first quarter VC funding in fintech, and how lending compares to other verticals in the space.
Iulia Ciutina | June 22, 2022
Online Lenders

After integrating Afterpay with Square Cash App and Seller ecosystems, in-store sales are up 384%

  • Square is bringing Afterpay to in-store purchases, making it even easier to pay in 4.
  • Convenience may lead to overspending, especially when consumers stack their loans.
Rabab Ahsan | June 14, 2022
Member Exclusive, Online Lenders

Lending Briefing: Alternative data powering SMB lending, and the top US consumer lenders

  • Alternative data has been among the major driving factors for the rising interest in SMB lending, and fintechs are increasingly dominating the market.
  • Marcus by Goldman Sachs has ranked highest among personal loan lenders in overall customer satisfaction, according to a new study.
Iulia Ciutina | June 07, 2022
Online Lenders, Podcasts

Where Credit’s Due Ep. 2: How PayPal and Square use data and speed to drive growth in SMB lending

  • In this episode of Where Credit's Due, we'll be exploring the small business sector and how digital fintechs are meeting a lot of the demand for capital.
  • My guests this episode are Luke Voiles, general manager at Square Banking, and Bernardo Martinez, vice president of Global Merchant Lending at PayPal
Iulia Ciutina | June 07, 2022
More Articles