4 Surprising Ways Millennials Are Paying Off Their Student Debt

From job benefits to game shows, some Millennials are looking for creative ways to tackle their student debt burden...

Millennials’ financial setbacks are nothing new. According to Politico, the demographic is “behind in almost every economic dimension,” and the ratio of how much they have invested in assets like 401(k) plans to their income is below Gen X and Boomers and isn’t expected to change anytime soon. Of course, the massive student loan debt the generation is carrying isn’t helping. According to Student Loan Hero, as of 2018, outstanding student loan debt in the U.S. surpassed $1.48 trillion—almost one-and-a-half times what Americans owe in credit card debt. Studies show this burden is killing off a full 75% of the average Millennials’ net worth and overall hindering their chances for long-term financial success. In fact, Millennials with student loan debt have an average net worth of $29,087 compared to $114,376 for those with no student debt, according to Student Loan Hero, and have 46% less cash in their savings and checking accounts.

So it’s no surprise that paying down this debt is a major goal for the generation: when we looked at their biggest financial priorities last year, paying off debt or student loans topped the list. In fact, in an attempt to gain steady financial footing, some Millennials are turning to unconventional measures to rid themselves of their student debt. Here are five surprising ways the generation is paying off their loans.

GAME SHOWS

When scrimping and saving isn’t working, why not play to pay? That’s the idea behind a new game show from TruTV that promises to pay off Millennials’ student debt via trivia. Contestants on Paid Off can get up to 100% of their debt paid, depending on how many questions they answer correctly. Of course, the number…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day: “The [financial] industry has been slow to adapt to the ways in which young people want to be communicated with and to communicate with each other.”—Ian Rosen, CEO, StockTwits (YPulse)

Instagram users can now purchase products without leaving the app. The platform’s shopping tags are evolving to allow users to check out directly inside the app from about 20 retailers using saved payment and shipping information. The move doesn’t just give Facebook a direct cut of each sale, but also allows the platform to collect data that they’ll leverage in their ad targeting. Instagram’s influence over young consumers’ purchases continues to skyrocket, and according to our Shoppability trend, 72% of Gen Z & Millennials are open to buying products on social media. (Recode)

Disney and MAC Cosmetics are debuting a nostalgic makeup line for Aladdin fans. The Disney Aladdin collection features lipstick, an eyeshadow palette, and bronzer in jewel and metallic hues that Princess Jasmine might wear with her bright turquoise outfit. The partnership is part of the lead-up to the live-action Aladdin’s debut, and isn’t MAC’s first time introducing fans to whole new worlds of Disney-themed cosmetics. In the past, they’ve also released Cinderella and Disney villains-themed lines. (Teen Vogue)

Google announced their ambitious plan to become “the future of gaming:” a cloud-based streaming service called Stadia. Gamers will be able to play across device (phones, TVs, tablets, etc.) without waiting for the title to load in a YouTube-connected setting. That means viewers can instantly play titles featured in videos and stream their own gameplay to YouTube—which could challenge industry leader, Amazon-owned Twitch. The Netflix-like service is set to launch this year. (The Verge)

Instagrammable dim sum is going global. The craze stared in Hong Kong, where Social Places serves up bao made to look like tiny pigs and charcoal custard bao filled with “a thick liquid that oozes out like lava,” introducing three or four new incarnations each month to keep customers coming back. Meanwhile at Disneyland Hong Kong, Crystal Lotus customers dine on buns that look like their favorite animated characters, including Frozen's Olaf. In the U.S., San Francisco’s Chili House and New York’s RedFarm are some of the first to take on the trend. (Bloomberg)

Netflix’s next choose-your-own-adventure series lets viewers chart Bear Grylls’ journey through the wilderness. Soon, Netflix viewers will have the chance to become outdoors experts from the comfort of their couches, as they make the survival show celebrity’s choices as he traverses tricky situations. Grylls himself says that he’s “giving viewers an all-access pass to explore the world and its landscapes in my boots” and that “For the first time, my survival is in your hands.” (THR)

Quote of the Day: “One of the biggest myths about Millennials is that they do not want to engage with human beings, especially if a chatbot, app, or a website can be deployed.”—Xiomara Lorenzo, Director, Society of Grownups (YPulse)

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