One trillion dollars.

That’s the total amount of student loan debt in America – rounded down. The average student is saddled with $34,000 in student loans. And according to US News, it takes the average bachelor degree holder 21 years to completely pay off all that debt.

That debt is keeping people from achieving personal and financial goals: it’s discouraging them from building an emergency fund and preventing them from saving for retirement; more and more people are putting off buying homes and cars; many are opting to live with their parents to save on rent; and some are even postponing marriage and having children.

These are significant sacrifices to make in order to pay off debt. It should come to no surprise then that some people would go pretty far to get rid of their student loans. According to a survey by MyBankTracker, to get out of debt:

  • 30% of the people surveyed would sell their spleen.
  • 38% of the people surveyed would take part in a questionable health study that was not approved by the FDA.
  • 43% of the people surveyed would purge half of their possessions.
  • 55% of the people surveyed would turn their life into reality show.

Would you go to any of these extremes to pay off your student loan debt? Thankfully, you don’t have to; there are other, healthier ways to pay it all off. We’ve shared some general debt payoff tips in the past and we’ve also written about a couple of specific methods in our articles on the Debt Snowball and Debt Avalanche strategies. While these won’t pay your loans off over night, they can help you whittle down your debt over time.

Ultimately, how you pay off your debt isn’t that important (so as long as you stay healthy and safe in the process!). What is important is that you have a plan to pay off your debt as quickly as possible. Because even if your debt payments are affordable there may be a hidden cost. Ask yourself: what aren’t you able to do because of your debts? What are you postponing? What are you sacrificing?

Covenant Trust Company’s IRA Administrator, Christine Peterson, and Marketing Coordinator, Ruser Saldaña recently discussed student loan debt and other financial issues millennials are facing in our latest podcast. Check it out on our blog and join in on the conversation: let us know what you’re sacrificing to pay off your debts and how you plan on paying them off. And as always, if you have any questions, feel free to leave us a comment below or send us a message.

Covenant Trust Company is a financial services company owned by the Evangelical Covenant Church and its affiliates. Our services are available to anyone in need of asset management, retirement planning, legacy planning, gift planning, or trust services. In addition, we seek opportunities to encourage and promote healthy financial habits; read more on our personal finance blog: www.covtrustblog.com.

 

 

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