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Poll: Some borrowers would cut off pinkies, take punch to dump student loans

By Amy R. Connolly   |   Feb. 12, 2016 at 1:18 PM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- How far would you go to pay off your student loans? Cut off a pinky finger? Take a punch from former professional boxer Mike Tyson? Give up social media for life?

A new poll shows some graduated student loan borrowers would willingly go to extremes to pay off outstanding student debt. That includes pain, suffering and, possibly, a move to Syria.

"We think it is clear that current student loan borrowers are feeling pressured by their debt," said Nate Matherson of Lendedu, an online company that provides information about loan refinancing options. "Unfortunately, none of these options are currently available under the Department of Education's Public Service Loan Forgiveness program."

The survey by Lendedu builds on a report from American Student Assistance that found education debt causes borrowers to put off marriage, starting a family and saving for retirement. A Lendedu survey in January found many current students do nothing about their debt.

A February survey of 513 graduated students demonstrated the lengths some will go to rid themselves of the student loan albatross:

-- 57.89 percent would give up social media for life

-- 57.11 percent would give up coffee for life

-- 56.73 percent would take a punch from boxer Mike Tyson

-- 56.14 percent would abstain from alcohol and drugs for life

-- 40.35 percent would take one year off life expectancy

-- 35.67 percent would give up texting for life

-- 28.07 percent would name first-born daughter Sallie Mae

-- 20.47 percent would wear same outfit everyday for life

-- 6.47 percent would cut off pinky finger

-- 4.68 percent would move to Syria for life

-- 4.09 percent would contract a random sexually transmitted disease for life

For the survey, 61 percent of responders were female and 39 percent were male. The respondents ranged in age from 22 to 61 and had an average of $31,762 in student debt. All graduated from a four-year college.

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