Millennials: More Concerned with GoT than Repaying Student Loans?

A few weeks back, HBO’s Game of Thrones finished up its seventh season, to the tune of 12.1 million live viewers, and another 16.5 million viewers watched by other method – online, recorded broadcast, or other viewing options – at some point that same night. 

These are record-breaking numbers; they made this season finale the show’s most-watched final episode yet, according to Forbes. But be warned, Forbes did not shy away from spoilers about the episode in their article. 

How do we know if graduates place other things above repaying their student loans?

Thankfully, there are a number of studies which have been conducted, which shine a light on this very topic. One of the leading organizations that has been putting forth effort on this matter is LendEDU, an online “marketplace for student loans and student loan refinance.” According to their own story, founders Nate Matherson and Matt Lenhard “…created LendEDU [in August 2014] to help student loan borrowers find transparency without damaging their credit. We are student loan borrowers ourselves. Our goal is to help you save money through transparent pricing and education.”

LendEDU has completed surveys among the public recently which have provided pertinent information regarding the way borrowers and student loan debt holders view their worry and need to repay their student loans. The most effective of these was discussed in their blog post near the end of August 2017, and covered a list of 17 “priorities” as compared to repayment of student loan debt. 

Prioritizing student loans, in the grand scheme of things

By asking 500 student loan borrowers who are currently in repayment in an online poll, the following results were garnered. We have listed them with the provided percentages of respondents gathered from the poll.

  • Perform at your job to strengthen your job security VS repay your student loans? (27.2% VS 72.8%)
  • Use your money to buy gifts for partners and loved ones VS use your money to repay student loans? (84% VS 16%)
  • Use your money to find the best possible living situation VS use your money to repay students loans? (56% VS 44%)
  • Saving your money in a retirement or savings fund VS repaying your student loans? (31.8% VS 68.2%)
  • Using your money to buy a car VS using your money to repay student loans? (34% VS 66%)
  • Use your money to buy healthy food that is generally more expensive VS use your money to repay student loans? (27.8% VS 72.2%)
  • Establish your credit history VS repay your student loans? (42.6% VS 57.4%)
  • Invest in the stock market VS repay your student loans? (14.6% VS 85.4%)
  • Pay your credit card, phone, utility, and other bills VS repay your student loans? (74.4% VS 25.6%)
  • Keeping up with Game of Thrones VS repaying your student loans? (11.33% VS 88.67%)
  • Maintaining a good appearing on social media VS repaying your student loans? (8.28% VS 91.72%)
  • Going out to maintain an exciting social life VS repaying student loans? (11% VS 89%)
  • Use your money to travel VS use your money to repay your student loans? (27% VS 73%)
  • More stress about your favorite sports team VS your student loans? (10.44% VS 89.56%)
  • Upgrading your wardrobe VS repaying your student loans? (12.4% VS 87.6%)
  • Keeping your Netflix account active/binge-watching VS repaying your student loans? (17.05% VS 82.95%)
  • More stress about your fantasy football league VS your student loans? (6.3% VS 65.4%)

Now, to break that down a little more:

The tasks that these respondents prioritized as GREATER than the need to repay their student loans included

  • Paying their credit card, phone, utility, and other bills
  • Use their money to find the best possible living situation
  • Use their money to buy gifts for partners and loved ones

The tasks that these respondents prioritized as LESS than the need to repay their student loans, but were relatively close in importance (within 35%) included

  • Establish their credit history
  • Using their money to buy a car

So, all things considered?

These 500 respondents generally seems to place their need to repay their student loans as higher than many trivial, “millennial”-type tasks and needs. Whether it was Netflix or GoT, satisfying the travel-bug or dreaming of the perfect fantasy football team, student loans are more important to many millennials. 

But that does mean that some of the younger generation DO prioritize these trivial matters above their student loans. In the case of keeping an active Netflix account, 17% and change of the 500 respondents considered this more important than repaying their college debt. 

If that number is scary to you, there may be only one thing to do. 

If you, a family member, or friend is in the habit of prioritizing non-necessities over repaying their debt of any kind, some kind of talking-to or intervention may need to happen. A financial planner or loan expert may be helpful in this case. Wise Loan has great information at their disposal to help you determine options you may have to alleviate your student loan debt. Give us a call today!