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:  Millennials have grown up in a world where consuming wine outdoors—or any location outside of the traditional table—is more acceptable than generations past.”—Kate McManus, VP of Marketing, Delicato Family Wines (Wine Spectator)

Young consumers are “killing the shopping spree.” Whether they’re signing up for the growing number of clothing subscription services (Rent the Runway, Le Tote, Urban Outfitters, etc.), shopping second-hand, or just culling their closets—young shoppers are quitting fast fashion in droves. Some are inspired by Marie Kondo’s joy-sparking brand of minimalism, while others want to help the environment—and still others are just seeking a wide range of things to wear at a lower price. (Vice)

Airbnb is launching “adventures” for experience-seeking young travelers. The site that started with accommodations and moved into one-off “experiences” (like dinner parties) now offers multi-day excursions, complete with guides, gear, meals, and accommodations. The platform already features over 200 trips in 40 countries, including a tiger-tracking expedition in Kenya and a trek through the canyons of Oman. (Fast Company)

Tyson Foods is taking on the fake meat market with plant-based nuggets. The pea protein nuggets are the first in a line of “Raised & Rooted” products from Tyson Foods. The brand's CEO explains they’re catering to the “growing number of people open to flexible diets that include both meat and plant-based protein”—aka young flexitarians, not full-time vegans. But can a company known for its meat sell the idea that “this [trend] is about ‘and’—not ‘or’”? (The Verge)

Snapchatters can shop Levi’s new Pride Month jacket via selfie filter. The Shoppable feature is first enabled by scanning a QR code found at select stores or by getting a special Snapcode from a friend. Then, users can try on the special-edition trucker jacket via augmented reality, customizing it with one of two washes and a selection of six pins and patches. Once they complete the look, users can purchase the Pride Month Jacket—without ever leaving the app. (SJ)

Amazon’s new Echo Dot Kids Edition revamps the original. The new smart speakertakes many cues from the adult version’s second generation (it’s louder and rounder) but adds special features just for kids that go beyond a rainbow-striped color scheme. The device will come with a year of FreeTime Unlimited, a subscription service that includes popular Alexa skills like Pinkfong’s Baby Shark Adventures, as well as an enhanced parental control suite to address growing privacy concerns. (VarietyCNET)

Quote of the Day: “Young people still have an incredible interest in the Olympic Games…But the way they are consuming the Olympic Games—the type of content they are watching and the ways and the platforms on which they are watching—are fundamentally changing.”—Kit McConnell, Sports Director, International Olympic Committee (Bloomberg)

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