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Student Loans Reports

Think the iPhone X is 2017’s Best Holiday Gift? 71% of Borrowers Would Prefer a Student Loan Payment

If the 45 million student loan borrowers in the United States formed their own country, it would be the 31st most populated in the world, slightly smaller than Spain but larger than Argentina. 

Collectively, this medium-sized country of student loan borrowers would owe $1.45 trillion in student loan debt, with the average recent graduate owing around $27,975, according to our student loan debt statistics

study conducted by The Harris Poll found that 46 percent of Americans cite Christmas as their favorite holiday, with the next closest holiday only registering 19 percent of the vote. The Pew Research Center found that 86 percent of Americans buy gifts as part of the holidays, and 83 percent said buying and receiving gifts makes them feel “joyful.”

With the holiday season in full swing and the student loan debt crisis neverrelenting, LendEDU decided to pit an unstoppable force against an immovable object. 

13 different times (once for each product), we asked 1,000 student loan borrowers currently in repayment if they would rather receive one of the hottest holiday gifts of 2017 or an equally-valued payment towards their educational debt. 

The Full Results


As noted in the introduction, LendEDU wanted to figure out which gifts were so valued by student debtors that they would rather receive them as opposed to a student loan payment.

In nearly a clean sweep, the student loan payment won out every time besides one. For example, ​a JUUL e-cigarette starter pack costs around $49.99, and 89.20 percent of student debtors preferred the equally-valued loan payment, even if it meant only a minor deduction from their educational loan balances. 

On the other end of the spectrum, ​when it came to something of significant value, like $1,000 worth of Bitcoin, 66.80 percent of student borrowers in repayment still wanted the loan payment. Albeit a small percentage of one full Bitcoin, that $1,000 could balloon into $10,000 if Bitcoin continues on its current trajectory.

This shows how desperate and serious student borrowers are when it comes to repaying their loans. They would pass on the opportunity to potentially turn a huge profit (profit they could use to pay off a significant amount of educational debt) because the allure of receiving a $1,000 loan payment is simply too tempting.

>> Read More: How to pay off student loans fast

The only traditional holiday gift that was more coveted than the student loan payment was a $100 bill. Maybe the poll participants intended to just put that $100 towards their student loan balance, which would be an easier process than say, reselling an iPhone X and putting the proceeds towards their debt. 

Ultimately, the results of this poll are promising​ to a degree because it proves that we have a generation of young, responsible Americans that are dead-set on repaying their student loan debt. They are willing to sacrifice material worth for something that, while less sexy, is more impactful on both their future and the health of their country’s economy.

That being said, there is undoubtedly a tinge of pity because the holidays are meant to be worry-free and enjoyed. Debt should not be suffocating a young consumer so much that they must forego life’s simple pleasures. 


All data that was featured in this report came from an online poll commissioned by LendEDU and conducted by online polling company Pollfish. In total, 1,000 student loan borrowers that are currently in repayment were polled on all 13 questions. Respondents were filtered via screening question to ensure they were student loan borrowers currently in repayment. This poll ran over a four day span, starting on December 8th, 2017 and ending on December 11th, 2017. All respondents were asked to answer each question truthfully and to the best of their ability. 

The infographic designed by Konsus featured in this report was completed on behalf of LendEDU. Konsus “delivers on-demand outsourcing for professionals, combining top talent with a scientific approach to quality and efficiency.”

See more of LendEDU’s Research