42.3 million Americans owe a total of $1.33 trillion in federal student loans, according to the U.S. Department of Education. 20-somethings pay on average $351 a month, reports the Federal Reserve. The median monthly payment for that age range is $203.
Now a survey from Credible, conducted through Pollfish, offers insight into just what millennials would be willing to do to be free of those loans. The most popular answer the 500 respondents between the ages of 18 and 34 chose for what they would be desperate enough to sacrifice: suffrage.
Half of them said they would give up the ability to vote in the next two presidential elections.
Perhaps this shouldn’t come as such a surprise. According to Tufts University’s Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, only 50 percent of 18- to-29-year-olds actually turned out to vote in the 2016 presidential election anyway.
Although college graduates are more likely to vote than those without higher education, half, it seems, would still prioritize their immediate financial well-being over their democratic influence.
They also seem to prioritize ride-sharing apps over the ability to vote. The survey found that 44 percent of the participants would be willing to stop using Uber and Lyft to have their loans forgiven.
Young people may have come to rely on those apps to such an extent that they’ve forgotten ride-sharing isn’t cheap, especially as compared to public transportation. Not to mention that there are also taxis.
Of all the options presented to them, millennials were least likely to give up texting, even just for a year. So presumably they still value freedom of speech.