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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Still gift shopping? Here’s something more popular than Bitcoin, Netflix or marijuana

UPDATED: Fri., Dec. 22, 2017

By Kate Martin (Tacoma) News Tribune

Holiday gift shopping have you stumped? Wracking your brain for a thoughtful, last-minute gift?

Are you shopping for a millenial?

Chances are, they still have student debt.

In a recent survey, 1,000 student loan borrowers were asked if they preferred a hot gift – such as a year’s Netflix subscription, an ounce of marijuana or $1,000 in Bitcoin – or an equal payment toward their student loan debt.

In 12 of 13 gift ideas, they preferred the student loan payment, according to the survey by lendedu.com. The only gift they preferred over a student loan payment was a $100 bill.

Tickets to “Hamilton” on Broadway? Use that $400 toward a student loan payment. The iPhone X? Now you know what to do with that $1,000.

About 45 million people have student loans in the United States. Collectively they owe $1.45 trillion, lendedu.com says.

Student loan debt has doubled on average since 2003, according to the website College Investor. Those who graduated this year will have on average nearly $40,000 in such debt.

The average millennial, born between 1982 and 2004, will have a negative net worth until age 31, according to College Investor.

Student loan debt can be crippling, including delaying homeownership by seven years, according to a study by the National Association of Realtors and the nonprofit America Student Assistance.

That study shows only one in five millennials – the oldest of whom are 35 – owns a home. More than half said they delayed starting a family or getting married because of their student debt.

Think about that the next time you’re asking why your niece or nephew isn’t getting married or having children.

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