All millennials want for Christmas student loan payment

The best give you could give this holiday season is a student loan payment.

What’s the perfect gift for a millennial? A gift card to their favorite restaurant? Or perhaps a bottle of their favorite cologne? Those gifts are fine, but if you really want to help them out, consider making one of their monthly student loan payments.

In a survey conducted by Student Loan Report, 69.3% of borrowers would rather receive a student loan payment instead of a gift this holiday season. The survey questioned 1,000 borrowers currently repaying a student loan.

At first mention this may sound like a large investment, but it’s more manageable than you think.  According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the average student loan payment for a 20- to 30-year-old is $351 a month. That said, about 50% of borrowers pay $203 or less every month.

So, if you were going to buy your loved one a pair of Beats headphones ($199.99) or a designer bag (which cost way more than $200), then perhaps a one-month student loan payment would be a better idea.

If you’re worried that gifting money is unsentimental, think again. Chances are, it’s probably what your student borrower really wants for the holidays. In the survey, 58% of respondents said that they plan to use Christmas money to chip down their student loan debt, compared with 41.5% who want to spend it on other things.

At the end of the day, 44.2 million Americans have student loan debt totaling about $1.45 trillion. From that number, about 11.2% of accounts are delinquent (90-plus days late with a payment or in default). Debt is a heavy burden to carry, and helping a loved one lighten the financial load may be the best gift you can give this holiday season.

Brittany is a reporter at  Yahoo Finance. 

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