Some student loan borrowers are so anxious to say goodbye to their student loans that they’re turning to student loan gift registries to help pay off student loans. Some are even adding their student loans to their wedding gift registries alongside requests for the more traditional pots and pans.
With student loan debt statistics now showing $1.3 trillion of debt in the U.S., perhaps the only thing that’s surprising about this trend – is that it’s just starting to gain steam.
How to Create a Student Loan Gift Registry
While some people simply ask their friends and family members to give them a gift of cash that they can put towards their student loans, others are using websites that allow friends and family to go online and donate money quickly and easily. These sites also sometimes track how much money you’re received and how far away you are from your goal.
Some people use wedding registry sites like Zola, and Thankful to host student loan gift registries. Others use crowdfunding sites specifically set up for student loans like Zerobound and PigIt.
Whatever site you choose, it’s important to note that they all typically charge a percentage of the money you raise as payment for their services. This can be as much as 5%-10%.
It’s Better Than Getting Bad Gifts
Anyone who has ever gotten a bad birthday, graduation, or wedding gift has likely contemplated whether the money spent on yet another bath bomb or cheesy picture frame could have gone to better use.
Some of these people have decided to let their friends and family know that given how much debt they’re currently carrying in student loans, they are less worried about having the perfect bubble bath and more concerned about their financial future.
These registries are a gentle way to tell loved ones and potential gift givers that the best way to help someone struggling with student loan payments is to help relieve the major source of their stress.
Perfect for Graduation
If you have friends or family members who will likely buy you something for graduation, signing up for a student loans gift registry might be a good option to give them an idea of how they can help.
Many parents and family members end up buying things like flowers, balloons, watches, fancy pens, and frames for your degree. But if you had to borrow a significant amount of money get through your schooling – the number one thing on your mind is likely how you will pay that money back.
If you get enough money, it could even cover your first payment after your six-month grace period comes to an end.
It Makes for a Great Addition to a Wedding Registry
Traditional wedding gift registries are outdated, so it’s not surprising that we’re seeing couples ask for help repaying student loans on their wedding registries.
These days, most people wait until they’re older in order to get married. Often, couples have already lived together for a significant amount of time and they have most of the kitchen and household items that you would typically find on a wedding gift registry.
So, rather than ask for a set of fine china or crystal glasses they will rarely use, these couples are creating gift registries and including unconventional items like their honeymoons or student loans as options for wedding guests.
But Your Grandma (and Emily Post) Might Not Approve
In theory, adding student loans to your wedding gift registry is consistent with the spirit behind gift registries and wedding gift giving but that doesn’t stop some people from thinking it’s crass to do so. After all, in the past, people bought pots and pans in order to help a couple set up their household and prepare for their future together.
But today, one of the biggest things that is interfering with millennial’s future plans is the significant amount of student loan debt that they carry. Some friends and family members might appreciate the opportunity to give a gift that will truly help set a couple up for a bright future and allow them to more quickly realize dreams of homeownership or starting a family.
However, gift giving around weddings is a delicate issue. Some of your guests, especially your older relatives, will likely still follow wedding etiquette created by people like Emily Post who wrote in the late 1800s.
Some friends or family members might take issue or be offended by the fact that you’re essentially asking them to give you money since it’s considered by some to be ill-mannered to do so. The question for couples who are thinking about adding their student loans to their gift registries to ask is whether they care if someone is offended or not.
If You Decide to Do It – Be Tactful
If you’re planning on using a student loan gift registry, you will want to be tactful about how do you let people know about it. Be sure to say that you’re just providing the registry as an idea for people who want to give you a gift but don’t know what to get you. You’ll also want to state that gifts are not necessary and that you appreciate any type of gift you receive.
By being careful about the manner in which you ask for help with your student loans, you can potentially avoid people being upset.