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Would you sacrifice your vote, or phone, to be student debt-free? 

50 percent of US students would rather give up their right to vote than pay student debt. Source: shutterstock.com

Many college students in the US say they’d give up their votes. And they’re willing to skip not just one, but two presidential elections, just to have their debts forgiven.

According to a survey by Credible, the sentiment was shared by 50 percent of the 500 student respondents.

When it came to their smartphones, however, only 13 percent said they would give up their devices for a year.

According to the latest numbers from the US Department of Education, 42.3 million Americans are paying back US$1.33 trillion in federal student loan debt.

On average, students are paying back US$222 a month, which can be stifling to young graduates attempting to launch their careers.

“Student loan debt can either be a mild inconvenience for borrowers, or something that they would do almost anything to be rid of. Millennials as a whole seem to be very focused on student loan forgiveness,” a Credible spokesman said.

Apart from sacrificing their voting rights, the Credible survey also found that 44 percent of students would give up ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft for a year, while 42 percent would commit to staying within the US for five years in return for remission.

Some 27 percent said they were also willing to move in with their parents for five years, to wipe their debt slates clean.

The data, said the spokesman, demonstrates how far some students were willing to go in exchange for loan forgiveness.

“Not only that, but it also reveals how some of the priorities stack up for the modern generation.” 

In the 2016 US presidential election, only 50 percent of 18-to-25-year-old demographic turned out to vote, compared to 88 percent of the demographic who have a mobile phone. The results of the study neatly fit with these statistics; millennials care more for their phones than for voting in the next president. The finding also possibly indicates political fatigue among the demographic, with more placing greater emphasis on social connectivity than on societal and/or governmental issues.

Meanwhile, only 8 percent of students surveyed said they would rather not give up anything and just pay their student debt.

Regardless of what millennials value in their lives, one thing’s for certain – it’s not debt.

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