David Dulberg
August 2018

What to Give Those Lovebirds? More Stuff? Or Cash to Pay Off Student Loans?

What do you give that couple tying the knot in the last days of summer?

Maybe that DIY photo display made with clothespins? A heart shaped waffle maker? How about copper “Mr.” and “Mrs.” Moscow Mule Mugs!?

Or this: How about helping those lovebirds pay off their student loan debt?

Because that’s a thing

Gift registries are still the hands-down favorites for couples. Nearly 85 percent of future married couples register at their favorite shopping venues such as Bed Bath and Beyond, Target, and Amazon. Interestingly enough, according to a recent study by The Knot, more couples are asking for cash. Even though most of that cash goes to a honeymoon or a down payment on a house, 14 percent goes to paying down debt.

Why are so many loving couples’ nuptials overshadowed by the amount of student loan debt they took on to try and get the job they need to make a decent living? Student loan debt is a looming colossus of a shadow, blotting out the sunshine of a lovely late summer wedding day.

The Staggering Statistics

  • $1.52 trillion in student loan debt
  • 44.2 million borrowers
  • 10.7% loans delinquent by more than 90 days
  • $29 billion increase in student loan debt in the most recent quarter

In 2016, the average student left school with $37,172 in debt. That is more than the cost of an average wedding which is $33,391.

So what do enterprising millennials and their equally enterprising parents (who took out loans to help their kids or returned to school themselves) do? Since two-thirds of couples lived together before getting married, many already have the stuff they need. And with the millennial push to urban areas, more couples have less room to put stuff. So they skip the gifts that they have to take back. And then they ask for cash.

It’s a smart move. At today’s rates, reducing principal by $1000 before interest begins can save someone, depending on the loan type and rate, anywhere from $600-$1200 over the life of the loan. If you can reduce principal by, say, $10,000, that is a lot of savings you can use to buy whatever you want.

Because, damn, those Moscow Mule Mugs are kinda cool.

Options are available to help

Most people do not realize that there are programs designed to help those who may be struggling with their student loan payments. Thousands of borrowers have trusted Ameritech Financial to be their advocate. Click here to find out what options are available. Our services could help you get back on track.

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David Dulberg

David Dulberg lives with his wife in the coastal hills above a narrow creek, mid-canopy in a redwood forest. He has been writing for non-profits for many years, and volunteers as a pilot on the Baum Squad, a tandem bike riding program for the Earle Baum Center for the Blind. He does not have a pet. This does not make him a bad person.

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