Survey: Some millennials would sell an organ to clear student loan debt


Some millennials would be willing to go to extremes to clear their entire student loan debt – including selling an organ or participating in a risky drug study.

That's what MyBankTracker found when it asked 200 of its users (median age of 32, average student loan debt balance of $34,500) what they'd be willing to do if it meant their student loan debt would be cleared.

About 30 percent would donate an organ, while more than half said they'd give up their privacy and be on a reality TV show. But the majority wouldn't give up material possessions to clear their debt.

(See the complete survey results on the infographic at the bottom of the page.)

MyBankTracker doesn't think people are actually going to these extremes to clear their debt.

But what the survey results show is that "they'd rather get rid of their debt quicker than adapting to it over time and making it part of [their] day-to-day reality," Alex Matjanec, co-founder of MyBankTracker, told Forbes.

Waiting to buy a car, house

The idea of getting their payments done all at once may be tied to the fact that many millennials (56 percent, according to a Bankrate survey) are putting off major life decisions because of their debt, Forbes notes.

Some politicians have uttered similar sentiments, including U.S. Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., who wrote an opinion piece on earlier this year about how the high cost of college is not just a burden on a student and their family, but on the nation's economy.

Addressing the cost of college, he wrote, will help younger people start a small business, buy a home or start a family at an earlier time – "things far too many young people have been forced to delay because of being saddled with college debt."

A Wells Fargo study last year found 47 percent of millennials devoted half their paycheck to paying off debt, with much of that debt associated to financing their college education, and 56 percent reported living paycheck to paycheck.

Debt in Minnesota is significant

And Minnesotans are among those who shoulder some of the heaviest student loan debt in the country, a report from the Project on Student Debt found last year.

The report says a 2013 graduate with a bachelor's degree from a public or nonprofit college averages $30,894 of debt, with Minnesota ranking fourth in the nation for the proportion of graduates – 70 percent – with debt.

MyBankTracker infographic

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