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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 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, 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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