Gift Ideas for People with Student Loan Debt

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Kristen Kuchar

By Kristen Kuchar

December 5, 2019

We buy gifts for the people we love around the holidays because we want to give them something to make them happy and improve their life. If you have someone in your life who’s dealing with student loan debt, you know the burden they carry. Instead of giving them a sweater or a picture frame, why not give them something that can help them deal with their student loan debt. These gifts are great for anyone dealing with student loan debt. 

Money Towards Student Loans

You can opt to give someone cash to apply directly to their student loan. If you want to ensure it’s going towards the loan, you can sit down together and make an extra payment. Keep in mind when you are making an extra student loan payment, you may need to specify that you want it to count towards the principal balance. Gift of College also allows you to buy a gift certificate that a borrower can apply towards their student loan. 

Gift Certificates

For anyone dealing with student loan debt, gift certificates can be a great gift. To make sure your gift certificate is actually helping with student loan debt, keep it semi-practical. However, if you know your family member or friend with the debt has been really working hard to pay down debt, it’s perfectly fine to give a less practical but fun gift card, too. Here are some suggestions for gift cards:

  • Affordable restaurants
  • Gas
  • Grocery stores
  • Target, Walmart or, so they can buy anything from toilet paper to groceries
  • Local yoga studios, gyms or other health-related activities
  • Groupon, where they can find something fun to do or take a class

Gifts to Save Money on Food 

Coffee maker and travel mug to save money on making coffee at home

Crockpot to make cheap meals at home and plenty for leftovers and a cookbook to go along with it

Lunch bag and containers to bring their lunch to work 

Spices, oils, sauces and other non-perishable items to inspire cooking

Budget-friendly cookbooks

Personal Finance Books to Inspire and Teach 

Gifts to Help Reduce Stress

Scented candles that promote relaxation and stress relief
Stress ball
Books and exercises on dealing with stress

Gifts to Help Budget and Organization

Budgeting workbook or organizer to keep track of every penny
Coupon organizer to start saving more money
Bill organizer to keep track of monthly expenses
Calendar to keep track of important financial dates, such as when bills are due and payroll 
Something to keep track of financial goals

Gifts for Inexpensive Entertainment

Subscription to Netflix or Hulu
Gift certificate to Groupon, a local bowling alley or a movie theater
Board games for inexpensive game nights with friends
Items for enjoying the outdoors

If your loved one is struggling with student loan debt, tell them to sign up for our free student loan newsletter for expert advice. And don’t forget to follow us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter for our latest articles on better managing student loan debt.

Have a question on student loans? Send your question to our Publisher and VP of Research, Mark Kantrowitz, the nation’s leading expert on student loans and financial aid. Email Your question may be featured in an upcoming article. Due to a high volume of submissions, not all questions can be answered.

At, our goal is to help you make smart decisions about saving and paying for education. Some of the products featured in this article are from our partners, but this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

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